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Data from: Visible persistence of single-transient random dot patterns: spatial parameters affect the duration of fading percepts

Citation

Bruchmann, Maximilian; Thaler, Kathrin; Vorberg, Dirk (2016), Data from: Visible persistence of single-transient random dot patterns: spatial parameters affect the duration of fading percepts, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.976qm

Abstract

Visible persistence refers to the continuation of visual perception after the physical termination of a stimulus. We studied an extreme case of visible persistence by presenting two matrices of randomly distributed black and white pixels in succession. On the transition from one matrix to the second, the luminance polarity of all pixels within a disk- or annulus-shaped area reversed, physically creating a single second-order transient signal. This transient signal produces the percept of a disk or an annulus with an abrupt onset and a gradual offset. To study the nature of this fading percept we varied spatial parameters, such as the inner and the outer diameter of annuli (Experiment I) and the radius and eccentricity of disks (Experiment III), and measured the duration of visible persistence by having subjects adjust the synchrony of the onset of a reference stimulus with the onset or the offset of the fading percept. We validated this method by comparing two modalities of the reference stimuli (Experiment I) and by comparing the judgments of fading percepts with the judgments of stimuli that actually fade in luminance contrast (Experiment II). The results show that (i) irrespective of the reference modality, participants are able to precisely judge the on- and the offsets of the fading percepts, (ii) auditory reference stimuli lead to higher visible persistence durations than visual ones, (iii) visible persistence duration increases with the thickness of annuli and the diameter of disks, but decreases with the diameter of annuli, irrespective of stimulus eccentricity. These effects cannot be explained by stimulus energy, which suggests that more complex processing mechanisms are involved. Seemingly contradictory effects of disk and annulus diameter can be unified by assuming an abstract filling-in mechanism that speeds up with the strength of the edge signal and takes more time the larger the stimulus area is.

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