Orientation specificity and spatial selectivity in human vision

J. A. Movshon, C. Blakemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An adaptation method is used to determine the orientation specificity of channels sensitive to different spatial frequencies in the human visual system. Comparison between different frequencies is made possible by a data transformation in which orientational effects are expressed in terms of equivalent contrast (the contrast of a vertical grating producing the same adaptational effect as a high contrast grating of a given orientation). It is shown that, despite great variances in the range of orientations affected by adaptation at different spatial frequencies (±10° to ±50°), the half width at half amplitude of the orientation channels does not vary systematically as a function of spatial frequency over the range tested (2.5 to 20 cycles deg-1). Two subjects were used and they showed significantly different orientation tuning across the range of spatial frequencies. The results are discussed with reference to previous determinations of orientation specificity, and to related psychophysical and neurophysiological phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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