Effects of absolute luminance and luminance contrast on visual search in low mesopic environments

Article

Abstract

Diverse adaptive visual processing mechanisms allow us to complete visual search tasks in a wide visual photopic range (>0.6 cd/m2). Whether search strategies or mechanisms known from this range extend below, in the mesopic and scotopic luminance spectra (<0.6 cd/m2), has yet to be addressed. Based on a study that addressed simple target discrimination in luminance environments using contrast-dependent behavioral efficiency functions, we assessed visual search in more complex-feature and conjunction-search paradigms. The results verify the previously reported deficiency windows defined by an interaction of base luminance and luminance contrast for more complex visual-search tasks. Based on significant regression analyses, a more precise definition of the magnitude of contribution of different contrast parameters. Characterized feature search patterns had approximately a 2.5:1 ratio of contribution from the Michelson contrast property relative to Weber contrast, whereas the ratio was approximately 1:1 in a serial-search condition. The results implicate near-complete magnocellular isolation in a visual-search paradigm that has yet to be demonstrated. Our analyses provide a new method of characterizing visual search and the first insight in its underlying mechanisms in luminance environments in the low mesopic and scotopic spectra.

Keywords

visual search Color and Light: Contrast Color and Light: Lightness/Brightness 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge funding support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Cognitive Systems and Processes (COSYP) research center at Jacobs University Bremen.

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology & MethodsJacobs University BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.HSD University of Applied SciencesCologneGermany

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