Nearly instantaneous brightness induction

Barbara Blakeslee, Mark E. McCourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Brightness induction is the modulation of the perceived intensity of a region by the luminance of surrounding regions and reveals fundamental properties of neural organization in the visual system. Grating induction affords a unique opportunity to precisely measure the temporal properties of induction using a quadrature motion technique. Contrary to previous reports that induction is a sluggish process with temporal frequency cutoffs of 2-5 Hz (R. L. DeValois, M. A. Webster, K. K. DeValois, & B. Lingelbach, 1986; A. F. Rossi & M. A. Paradiso, 1996), we find that induction is nearly instantaneous. The temporal response of induced brightness differs from that of luminance gratings by a small time lag (<1 ms), or by a small temporal phase lag (<0.016 cycle), and remains relatively constant across wide variations in test field height. These data are not easily explained by an edge-dependent, homogeneous filling-in process (A. F. Rossi & M. A. Paradiso, 1996); however, they are consistent with an explanation of brightness induction based on spatial filtering by cortical simple cells (B. Blakeslee & M. E. McCourt, 1999).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 29 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Brightness induction
  • Grating induction
  • Psychophysics
  • Spatial vision
  • Temporal vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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