Magnocellular channel subserves the human contrast-sensitivity function

Sotiris Plainis, Ian J. Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is evidence that the human contrast-sensitivity function (CSF) is mediated by the spatiotemporal characteristics of magno and parvo neurons early in the visual pathway. In this study we use a measure of contrast gain derived from simple reaction times, to investigate the neural substrates of suprathreshold performance. The results reveal the activity of two mechanisms having distinctly different contrast-gain characteristics. Comparing these to neurophysiological data, we find that the magnocellular system dominates close-to-threshold detection and probably forms the basis of the achromatic CSF, whereas the parvocellular system dominates detection at higher contrasts, when the magnocellular system saturates. © 2005 a Pion publication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)933-940
    Number of pages7
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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