Adaptation-Induced Blindness Is Orientation-Tuned and Monocular

Deborah ApthorpJohn Cass


We examined the recently discovered phenomenon of Adaptation-Induced Blindness (AIB), in which highly visible gratings with gradual onset profiles become invisible after exposure to a rapidly flickering grating, even at very high contrasts. Using very similar stimuli to those in the original AIB experiment, we replicated the original effect across multiple contrast levels, with observers at chance in detecting the gradual onset stimuli at all contrasts. Then, using full-contrast target stimuli with either abrupt or gradual onsets, we tested both the orientation tuning and interocular transfer of AIB. If, as the original authors suggested, AIB were a high-level (perhaps parietally mediated) effect resulting from the 'gating' of awareness, we would not expect the effects of AIB to be tuned to the adapting orientation, and the effect should transfer interocularly. Instead, we find that AIB (which was present only for the gradual onset target stimuli) is both tightly orientation-tuned and shows absolutely no interocular transfer, consistent with a very early cortical locus.


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Related Concepts

Tune Deafness
Retinal Correspondence
Blind Vision
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Cerebral Cortex
Orientation (spatial)

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