After observers have adapted to an edge that is spatially blurred or sharpened, a focused edge appears too sharp or blurred, respectively. These adjustments to blur may play an important role in calibrating spatial sensitivity. We examined whether similar adjustments influence the perception of temporal edges, by measuring the appearance of a step change in the luminance of a uniform field after adapting to blurred or sharpened transitions. Stimuli were square-wave alternations (at ) filtered by changing the slope of the amplitude spectrum. A two-alternative-forced-choice task was used to adjust the slope until it appeared as a step change, or until it matched the perceived transitions in a reference stimulus. Observers could accurately set the waveform to a square wave, but only at the slower alternation rates. However, these settings were strongly biased by prior adaptation to filtered stimuli, or when the stimuli were viewed within temporally filtered surrounds. Control experiments suggest that the latter induction effects result directly from the temporal blur and are not simply a consequence of brightness induction in the fields. These results suggest that adaptation and induction adjust visual coding so that images are focused not only in space but also in time.
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