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Chapter 3

PSYB51 Chapter 3 Definitions

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Matthias Niemeier

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Chapter 3 Definitions • contrast: the difference in luminance between an object and the background, or between lighter and darker parts of the same object • acuity: the smallest spatial detail that can be resolved • cycle: for grating, a pair consisting of one dark bar and one bright bar • visual angle: the angle subtended by an object at the retina • sin wave grating: a grating with a sinusoidal luminance profile • aliasing: misperception of a grating due to under-sampling • spatial frequency: the number of cycles of a grating per unit of visual angle (usually specified in degrees) cycles per degree: the number of dark and bright bars per degree of visual angle • • contrast sensitivity function (CSF): a function describing how the sensitivity to contrast (defined as the reciprocal of the contrast threshold) depends on the spatial frequency (size) of the stimulus • contrast threshold: the smallest amount of contrast required to detect a pattern • phase: the relative position of a grating • lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN): a structure in the thalamus, part of the mid-brain, that receives input from the retinal ganglion cells and has input and output connections to the visual cortex • magnocellular layers: the neurons in the bottom two layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus, which are physically larger than those in the top four layers parvocellular layers: the neurons in the top four layers of the LGN, which are physically • smaller than those in the bottom two layers • contralateral: referring to the opposite side of the body (or brain) • ipsilateral: referring to the same side of the body (or brain) • topographical mapping: the orderly mapping of the world in the lateral geniculate nucleus and the visual cortex (.. mapping of the visual field into a neural structure (LGN, V1, …) such that neighboring points in the visual field are projected onto neighboring patches of neural tissue • primary visual cortex (V1): the area of the cerebral cortex of the brain that receives direct inputs from the lateral geniculate nucleus, as well as feedback from other brain areas, and is responsible for processing visual information. Also called area 17 or striate cortex. • cortical magnification: the amount of cortical area (usually specified in millimeters) devoted to a specific region (
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