A multiscale spatial filtering account of the White effect, simultaneous brightness contrast and grating induction

Barbara Blakeslee, Mark E. McCourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Blakeslee and McCourt ((1997) Vision Research, 37, 2849-2869) demonstrated that a multiscale array of two-dimensional difference-of-Gaussian (DOG) filters provided a simple but powerful model for explaining a number of seemingly complex features of grating induction (GI), while simultaneously encompassing salient features of brightness induction in simultaneous brightness contrast (SBC), brightness assimilation and Hermann Grid stimuli. The DOG model (and isotropic contrast models in general) cannot, however, account for another important group of brightness effects which includes the White effect (White (1979) Perception, 8, 413-416) and the demonstrations of Todorovic ((1997) Perception, 26, 379-395). This paper introduces an oriented DOG (ODOG) model which differs from the DOG model in that the filters are anisotropic and their outputs are pooled nonlinearly. The ODOG model qualitatively predicts the appearance of the test patches in the White effect, the Todorovic demonstration, GI and SBC, while quantitatively predicting the relative magnitudes of these brightness effects as measured psychophysically using brightness matching. The model also accounts for both the smooth transition in test patch brightness seen in the White effect (White and White (1985) Vision Research, 25, 1331-1335) when the relative phase of the test patch is varied relative to the inducing grating, and for the spatial variation of brightness across the test patch as measured using point-by-point brightness matching. Finally, the model predicts intensive aspects of brightness induction measured in a series of Todorovic stimuli as the arms of the test crosses are lengthened (Pessoa, Baratoff, Neumann and Todorokov (1998) Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Supplement, 39, S159), but fails in one condition. Although it is concluded that higher-level perceptual grouping factors may play a role in determining brightness in this instance, in general the psychophysical results and ODOG modeling argue strongly that the induced brightness phenomena of SBC, GI, the White effect and the Todorovic demonstration, primarily reflect early-stage cortical filtering operations in the visual system. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4361-4377
Number of pages17
JournalVision research
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Brightness induction
  • Grating induction
  • Simultaneous brightness contrast
  • White effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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