Cortical Dynamics of Feature Binding and Reset: Control of Visual Persistence
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An analysis of the reset of visual cortical circuits responsible for the binding or segmentation of visual features into coherent visual forms yields a model that explains properties of visual persistence. The reset mechanisms prevent massive smearing or visual percepts in response to rapidly moving images. The model simulates relationships among psychophysical data showing inverse relations of persistence to flash luminance and duration, greaterr persistence of illusory contours than real contours, a U-shaped temporal function for persistence of illusory contours, a reduction of persistence: due to adaptation with a stimulus of like orientation, an increase or persistence due to adaptation with a stimulus of perpendicular orientation, and an increase of persistence with spatial separation of a masking stimulus. The model suggests that a combination of habituative, opponent, and endstopping mechanisms prevent smearing and limit persistence. Earlier work with the model has analyzed data about boundary formation, texture segregation, shape-from-shading, and figure-ground separation. Thus, several types of data support each model mechanism and new predictions are made.