Global shape after effects in composite radial frequency patterns

Samuel J D Lawrence, Bruce D Keefe, Richard J W Vernon, Alex R Wade, Declan J McKeefry, Antony B Morland

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Individual radial frequency (RF) patterns are generated by modulating a circle's radius as a sinusoidal function of polar angle and have been shown to tap into global shape processing mechanisms. Composite RF patterns can reproduce the complex outlines of natural shapes and examining these stimuli may allow us to interrogate global shape mechanisms that are recruited in biologically relevant tasks. We present evidence for a global shape aftereffect in a composite RF pattern stimulus comprising two RF components. Manipulations of the shape, location, size and spatial frequency of the stimuli revealed that this aftereffect could only be explained by the attenuation of intermediate-level global shape mechanisms. The tuning of the aftereffect to test stimulus size also revealed two mechanisms underlying the aftereffect; one that was tuned to size and one that was invariant. Finally, we show that these shape mechanisms may encode some RF information. However, the RF encoding we found was not capable of explaining the full extent of the aftereffect, indicating that encoding of other shape features such as curvature are also important in global shape processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2016

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