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2001


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Perception of Planar Shapes in Depth

Wichmann, F., Willems, B., Rosas, P., Wagemans, J.

Journal of Vision, 1(3):176, First Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), December 2001 (poster)

Abstract
We investigated the influence of the perceived 3D-orientation of planar elliptical shapes on the perception of the shapes themselves. Ellipses were projected onto the surface of a sphere and subjects were asked to indicate if the projected shapes looked as if they were a circle on the surface of the sphere. The image of the sphere was obtained from a real, (near) perfect sphere using a highly accurate digital camera (real sphere diameter 40 cm; camera-to-sphere distance 320 cm; for details see Willems et al., Perception 29, S96, 2000; Photometrics SenSys 400 digital camera with Rodenstock lens, 12-bit linear luminance resolution). Stimuli were presented monocularly on a carefully linearized Sony GDM-F500 monitor keeping the scene geometry as in the real case (sphere diameter on screen 8.2 cm; viewing distance 66 cm). Experiments were run in a darkened room using a viewing tube to minimize, as far as possible, extraneous monocular cues to depth. Three different methods were used to obtain subjects' estimates of 3D-shape: the method of adjustment, temporal 2-alternative forced choice (2AFC) and yes/no. Several results are noteworthy. First, mismatch between perceived and objective slant tended to decrease with increasing objective slant. Second, the variability of the settings, too, decreased with increasing objective slant. Finally, we comment on the results obtained using different psychophysical methods and compare our results to those obtained using a real sphere and binocular vision (Willems et al.).

Web DOI [BibTex]

2001

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Plaid maskers revisited: asymmetric plaids

Wichmann, F.

pages: 57, 4. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), March 2001 (poster)

Abstract
A large number of psychophysical and physiological experiments suggest that luminance patterns are independently analysed in channels responding to different bands of spatial frequency. There are, however, interactions among stimuli falling well outside the usual estimates of channels' bandwidths. Derrington & Henning (1989) first reported that, in 2-AFC sinusoidal-grating detection, plaid maskers, whose components are oriented symmetrically about the signal orientation, cause a substantially larger threshold elevation than would be predicted from their sinusoidal constituents alone. Wichmann & Tollin (1997a,b) and Wichmann & Henning (1998) confirmed and extended the original findings, measuring masking as a function of presentation time and plaid mask contrast. Here I investigate masking using plaid patterns whose components are asymmetrically positioned about the signal orientation. Standard temporal 2-AFC pattern discrimination experiments were conducted using plaid patterns and oblique sinusoidal gratings as maskers, and horizontally orientated sinusoidal gratings as signals. Signal and maskers were always interleaved on the display (refresh rate 152 Hz). As in the case of the symmetrical plaid maskers, substantial masking was observed for many of the asymmetrical plaids. Masking is neither a straightforward function of the plaid's constituent sinusoidal components nor of the periodicity of the luminance beats between components. These results cause problems for the notion that, even for simple stimuli, detection and discrimination are based on the outputs of channels tuned to limited ranges of spatial frequency and orientation, even if a limited set of nonlinear interactions between these channels is allowed.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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The pedestal effect with a pulse train and its constituent sinusoids

Henning, G., Wichmann, F., Bird, C.

Twenty-Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference, 2001 (poster)

Abstract
Curves showing "threshold" contrast for detecting a signal grating as a function of the contrast of a masking grating of the same orientation, spatial frequency, and phase show a characteristic improvement in performance at masker contrasts near the contrast threshold of the unmasked signal. Depending on the percentage of correct responses used to define the threshold, the best performance can be as much as a factor of three better than the unmasked threshold obtained in the absence of any masking grating. The result is called the pedestal effect (sometimes, the dipper function). We used a 2AFC procedure to measure the effect with harmonically related sinusoids ranging from 2 to 16 c/deg - all with maskers of the same orientation, spatial frequency and phase - and with masker contrasts ranging from 0 to 50%. The curves for different spatial frequencies are identical if both the vertical axis (showing the threshold signal contrast) and the horizontal axis (showing the masker contrast) are scaled by the threshold contrast of the signal obtained with no masker. Further, a pulse train with a fundamental frequency of 2 c/deg produces a curve that is indistinguishable from that of a 2-c/deg sinusoid despite the fact that at higher masker contrasts, the pulse train contains at least 8 components all of them equally detectable. The effect of adding 1-D spatial noise is also discussed.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Modeling the Dynamics of Individual Neurons of the Stomatogastric Networks with Support Vector Machines

Frontzek, T., Gutzen, C., Lal, TN., Heinzel, H-G., Eckmiller, R., Böhm, H.

Abstract Proceedings of the 6th International Congress of Neuroethology (ICN'2001) Bonn, abstract 404, 2001 (poster)

Abstract
In small rhythmic active networks timing of individual neurons is crucial for generating different spatial-temporal motor patterns. Switching of one neuron between different rhythms can cause transition between behavioral modes. In order to understand the dynamics of rhythmically active neurons we analyzed the oscillatory membranpotential of a pacemaker neuron and used different neural network models to predict dynamics of its time series. In a first step we have trained conventional RBF networks and Support Vector Machines (SVMs) using gaussian kernels with intracellulary recordings of the pyloric dilatator neuron in the Australian crayfish, Cherax destructor albidus. As a rule SVMs were able to learn the nonlinear dynamics of pyloric neurons faster (e.g. 15s) than RBF networks (e.g. 309s) under the same hardware conditions. After training SVMs performed a better iterated one-step-ahead prediction of time series in the pyloric dilatator neuron with regard to test error and error sum. The test error decreased with increasing number of support vectors. The best SVM used 196 support vectors and produced a test error of 0.04622 as opposed to the best RBF with 0.07295 using 26 RBF-neurons. In pacemaker neuron PD the timepoint at which the membranpotential will cross threshold for generation of its oscillatory peak is most important for determination of the test error. Interestingly SVMs are especially better in predicting this important part of the membranpotential which is superimposed by various synaptic inputs, which drive the membranpotential to its threshold.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]

2000


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Contrast discrimination using periodic pulse trains

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

pages: 74, 3. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2000 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast transduction is essential for understanding spatial vision. Previous research (Wichmann et al. 1998; Wichmann, 1999; Henning and Wichmann, 1999) has demonstrated the importance of high contrasts to distinguish between alternative models of contrast discrimination. However, the modulation transfer function of the eye imposes large contrast losses on stimuli, particularly for stimuli of high spatial frequency, making high retinal contrasts difficult to obtain using sinusoidal gratings. Standard 2AFC contrast discrimination experiments were conducted using periodic pulse trains as stimuli. Given our Mitsubishi display we achieve stimuli with up to 160% contrast at the fundamental frequency. The shape of the threshold versus (pedestal) contrast (TvC) curve using pulse trains shows the characteristic dipper shape, i.e. contrast discrimination is sometimes “easier” than detection. The rising part of the TvC function has the same slope as that measured for contrast discrimination using sinusoidal gratings of the same frequency as the fundamental. Periodic pulse trains offer the possibility to explore the visual system’s properties using high retinal contrasts. Thus they might prove useful in tasks other than contrast discrimination. Second, at least for high spatial frequencies (8 c/deg) it appears that contrast discrimination using sinusoids and periodic pulse trains results in virtually identical TvC functions, indicating a lack of probability summation. Further implications of these results are discussed.

Web [BibTex]

2000

Web [BibTex]


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Subliminale Darbietung verkehrsrelevanter Information in Kraftfahrzeugen

Staedtgen, M., Hahn, S., Franz, MO., Spitzer, M.

pages: 98, (Editors: H.H. Bülthoff, K.R. Gegenfurtner, H.A. Mallot), 3. T{\"u}binger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK), February 2000 (poster)

Abstract
Durch moderne Bildverarbeitungstechnologien ist es m{\"o}glich, in Kraftfahrzeugen bestimmte kritische Verkehrssituationen automatisch zu erkennen und den Fahrer zu warnen bzw. zu informieren. Ein Problem ist dabei die Darbietung der Ergebnisse, die den Fahrer m{\"o}glichst wenig belasten und seine Aufmerksamkeit nicht durch zus{\"a}tzliche Warnleuchten oder akustische Signale vom Verkehrsgeschehen ablenken soll. In einer Reihe von Experimenten wurde deshalb untersucht, ob subliminal dargebotene, das heißt nicht bewußt wahrgenommene, verkehrsrelevante Informationen verhaltenswirksam werden und zur Informations{\"u}bermittlung an den Fahrer genutzt werden k{\"o}nnen. In einem Experiment zur semantischen Bahnung konnte mit Hilfe einer lexikalischen Entscheidungsaufgabe gezeigt werden, daß auf den Straßenverkehr bezogene Worte schneller verarbeitet werden, wenn vorher ein damit in Zusammenhang stehendes Bild eines Verkehrsschildes subliminal pr{\"a}sentiert wurde. Auch bei parafovealer Darbietung der subliminalen Stimuli wurde eine Beschleunigung erzielt. In einer visuellen Suchaufgabe wurden in Bildern realer Verkehrssituationen Verkehrszeichen schneller entdeckt, wenn das Bild des Verkehrszeichens vorher subliminal dargeboten wurde. In beiden Experimenten betrug die Pr{\"a}sentationszeit f{\"u}r die Hinweisreize 17 ms, zus{\"a}tzlich wurde durch Vorw{\"a}rts- und R{\"u}ckw{\"a}rtsmaskierung die bewußteWahrnehmung verhindert. Diese Laboruntersuchungen zeigten, daß sich auch im Kontext des Straßenverkehrs Beschleunigungen der Informationsverarbeitung durch subliminal dargebotene Stimuli erreichen lassen. In einem dritten Experiment wurde die Darbietung eines subliminalen Hinweisreizes auf die Reaktionszeit beim Bremsen in einem realen Fahrversuch untersucht. Die Versuchspersonen (n=17) sollten so schnell wie m{\"o}glich bremsen, wenn die Bremsleuchten eines im Abstand von 12-15 m voran fahrenden Fahrzeuges aufleuchteten. In 50 von insgesamt 100 Durchg{\"a}ngen wurde ein subliminaler Stimulus (zwei rote Punkte mit einem Zentimeter Durchmesser und zehn Zentimeter Abstand) 150 ms vor Aufleuchten der Bremslichter pr{\"a}sentiert. Die Darbietung erfolgte durch ein im Auto an Stelle des Tachometers integriertes TFT-LCD Display. Im Vergleich zur Reaktion ohne subliminalen Stimulus verk{\"u}rzte sich die Reaktionszeit dadurch signifikant um 51 ms. In den beschriebenen Experimenten konnte gezeigt werden, daß die subliminale Darbietung verkehrsrelevanter Information auch in Kraftfahrzeugen verhaltenswirksam werden kann. In Zukunft k{\"o}nnte durch die Kombination der online-Bildverarbeitung im Kraftfahrzeug mit subliminaler Darbietung der Ergebnisse eine Erh{\"o}hung der Verkehrssicherheit und des Komforts erreicht werden.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]

1999


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Unexpected and anticipated pain: identification of specific brain activations by correlation with reference functions derived form conditioning theory

Ploghaus, A., Clare, S., Wichmann, F., Tracey, I.

29, 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), October 1999 (poster)

[BibTex]

1999

[BibTex]


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Single-class Support Vector Machines

Schölkopf, B., Williamson, R., Smola, A., Shawe-Taylor, J.

Dagstuhl-Seminar on Unsupervised Learning, pages: 19-20, (Editors: J. Buhmann, W. Maass, H. Ritter and N. Tishby), 1999 (poster)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Pedestal effects with periodic pulse trains

Henning, G., Wichmann, F.

Perception, 28, pages: S137, 1999 (poster)

Abstract
It is important to know for theoretical reasons how performance varies with stimulus contrast. But, for objects on CRT displays, retinal contrast is limited by the linear range of the display and the modulation transfer function of the eye. For example, with an 8 c/deg sinusoidal grating at 90% contrast, the contrast of the retinal image is barely 45%; more retinal contrast is required, however, to discriminate among theories of contrast discrimination (Wichmann, Henning and Ploghaus, 1998). The stimulus with the greatest contrast at any spatial-frequency component is a periodic pulse train which has 200% contrast at every harmonic. Such a waveform cannot, of course, be produced; the best we can do with our Mitsubishi display provides a contrast of 150% at an 8-c/deg fundamental thus producing a retinal image with about 75% contrast. The penalty of using this stimulus is that the 2nd harmonic of the retinal image also has high contrast (with an emmetropic eye, more than 60% of the contrast of the 8-c/deg fundamental ) and the mean luminance is not large (24.5 cd/m2 on our display). We have used standard 2-AFC experiments to measure the detectability of an 8-c/deg pulse train against the background of an identical pulse train of different contrasts. An unusually large improvement in detetectability was measured, the pedestal effect or "dipper," and the dipper was unusually broad. The implications of these results will be discussed.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Implications of the pedestal effect for models of contrast-processing and gain-control

Wichmann, F., Henning, G.

OSA Conference Program, pages: 62, 1999 (poster)

Abstract
Understanding contrast processing is essential for understanding spatial vision. Pedestal contrast systematically affects slopes of functions relating 2-AFC contrast discrimination performance to pedestal contrast. The slopes provide crucial information because only full sets of data allow discrimination among contrast-processing and gain-control models. Issues surrounding Weber's law will also be discussed.

[BibTex]