Chromatic contrast sensitivity functions measured using optokinetic nystagmus and psychophysics
AuthorPellicci, Joel Allan
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2020 Joel Allan Pellicci
Optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) is a sequence of involuntary eye movements comprising slow phases of tracking a moving stimulus followed by fast saccades to reset the eye position. Although previous studies have studied the relationship between human OKN and functional vision via measurement of the contrast-sensitivity function (CSF), it has not been investigated using colour-varying, red-green, equiluminant patterns. In human vision, spatiotemporal changes in luminance convey a stronger sense of motion than do equiluminant patterns; yet, motion can nevertheless be perceived without luminance cues. The present study used spatial-frequency, band-pass luminance and red-green equiluminant noise patterns to measure OKN, and thus characterise the chromatic input to the mechanisms that drive the optokinetic response. The CSFs of 21 observers with normal vision were recorded using OKN and perceptual report. The results of the study demonstrate that an equiluminant red green stimulus can evoke a robust OKN response. There was a high correlation between OKN and perceptual report, for both luminance and colour stimuli, an indication of a common neural mechanism for defining stimulus direction. In all stimulus conditions tested, OKN can deliver a valid alternate technique for measuring the CSF.
KeywordsOptokinetic Nystagmus; Contrast Sensitivity; Psychophysics; Colour; Motion
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