On the search for an appropriate metric for reaction time to suprathreshold increments and decrements

Angel Vassilev, Adrian Murzac, Margarita Zlatkova, Roger Anderson

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Weber contrast, AL/L, is a widely used contrast metric for aperiodic stimuli. Zele, Cao & Pokorny [Zele, A. J., Cao, D., & Pokorny, J. (2007). Threshold units: A correct metric for reaction time? Vision Research, 47, 608-611] found that neither Weber contrast nor its transform to detection-threshold units equates human reaction times in response to luminance increments and decrements under selective rod stimulation. Here we show that their rod reaction times are equated when plotted against the spatial luminance ratio between the stimulus and its background (L-max/L-min, the larger and smaller of background and stimulus luminances). Similarly, reaction times to parafoveal S-cone selective increments and decrements from our previous studies [Murzac, A. (2004). A comparative study of the temporal characteristics of processing of S-cone incremental and decremental signals. PhD thesis, New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Murzac, A., & Vassilev, A. (2004). Reaction time to S-cone increments and decrements. In: 7th European conference on visual perception, Budapest, August 22-26. Perception, 33, 180 (Abstract).], are better described by the spatial luminance ratio than by Weber contrast. We assume that the type of stimulus detection by temporal (successive) luminance discrimination, by spatial (simultaneous) luminance discrimination or by both [Sperling, G., & Sondhi, M. M. (1968). Model for visual luminance discrimination and flicker detection. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 58, 1133-1145.] determines the appropriateness of one or other contrast metric for reaction time. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-529
JournalVision Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Mar 2009


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