Visual Aftereffect Of Texture Density Contingent On Color Of Frame

Frank H. Durgin, Swarthmore College


An aftereffect of perceived texture density contingent on the color of a surrounding region is reported. In a series of experiments, participants were adapted, with fixation, to stimuli in which the relative density of two achromatic texture regions was perfectly correlated with the color presented in a surrounding region. Following adaptation, the perceived relative density of the two regions was contingent on the color of the surrounding region or of the texture elements themselves. For example, if high density on the left was correlated with a blue surround during adaptation (and high density on the right with a yellow surround), then in order for the left and right textures to appear equal in the assessment phase, denser texture was required on the left in the presence of a blue surround (and denser texture on the right in the context of a yellow surround). Contingent aftereffects were found (1) with black-and-white scatter-dot textures, (2) with luminance-balanced textures, and (3) when the texture elements, rather than the surrounds, were colored during assessment. Effect size was decreased when the elements themselves were colored, but also when spatial subportions of the surround were used for the presentation of color. The effect may be mediated by retinal color spreading (Pöppel, 1986) and appears consistent with a local associative account of contingent aftereffects, such as Barlow's (1990) model of modifiable inhibition.