Spatial frequency difference between textures interferes with brightness perception

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Abrupt changes in luminance trigger and restrict brightness filling-in. If brightness was actively filled-in and mediated by cells signaling both luminance borders and surface brightness, then brightness spreading could also get disrupted by changes in texture. We measured psychophysically the brightness of a uniform luminance disk, which was segmented into two parts by different textures. The brightness of the central part of the disk was substantially reduced, and the reduction depended on spatial frequency, but not on the orientation difference between the textures. The results show that texture borders are able to block brightness filling-in. The bandwidth of brightness spreading was estimated to be ∼1.5 octaves. This suggests that brightness information spreads only between neurons of similar spatial frequency characteristics.

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