Detection performance was measured with sinusoidal and pulse-train gratings. Although the 2.09-c/deg pulse-train, or line gratings, contained at least 8 harmonics all at equal contrast, they were no more detectable than their most detectable component. The addition of broadband pink noise designed to equalize the detectability of the components of the pulse train made the pulse train about a factor of four more detectable than any of its components. However, in contrast-discrimination experiments, with a pedestal or masking grating of the same form and phase as the signal and 15% contrast, the noise did not affect the discrimination performance of the pulse train relative to that obtained with its sinusoidal components. We discuss the implications of these observations for models of early vision in particular the implications for possible sources of internal noise.