Abstract

The effect of surround luminance on relative latency of response to a test stimulus was measured with the perceived-order method in which asynchrony between two lights is varied to make the lights appear subjectively simultaneous. Increasing surround luminance from zero to levels high enough to impair test-stimulus detectability resulted in reduction of test-stimulus latency (facilitation of response speed) by 100 ms both in the rod-free area of the fovea and in the periphery. Since appreciable facilitation of response speed was obtained in the rod-free area of the fovea, suppression of visual noise would seem to be a more plausible explanation of the facilitation effect than inhibition of rod activity. Variation of surround luminance was also found to have a much greater effect than variation of test-stimulus luminance.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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