Bhat, A., Cicchini, G. M. & Burr, D. C. (2018).
Inhibitory surrounds of motion mechanisms revealed by continuous tracking, J Vis, 13 (18), 7.
Continuous psychophysics is a newly developed technique that allows rapid estimation of visual thresholds by asking subjects to track a moving object, then deriving the integration window underlying tracking behavior (Bonnen, Burge, Yates, Pillow, & Cormack, 2015). Leveraging the continuous flow of stimuli and responses, continuous psychophysics allows for estimation of psychophysical thresholds in as little as 1 min. To date this technique has been applied only to tracking visual objects, where it has been used to measure localization thresholds. Here we adapt the technique to visual motion discrimination, by displaying a drifting grating that changes direction on a binary random walk and asking participants to continuously report drift direction by alternate key press. This technique replicates and confirms well-known findings of the motion-perception system. It also proves particularly valuable in demonstrating induced motion, reinforcing evidence for the existence of antagonistic surround fields. At low contrasts, the surround summates with the center, rather than opposing it, again consistent with existing evidence on classical techniques. The user-friendliness and efficiency of the method may lend it to clinical and developmental work.