Visual Sensitivities and Discriminations and Their Roles in Aviation.
Interim technical rept. 1 Oct 83-30 Sep 84,
DALHOUSIE UNIV HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA)
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This report present four studies. 1 An individuals ability to discriminate small differences in orientation about 5 and 0.5 deg respectively contrasts with the coarse size and orientation selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex of the brain. We report evidence that these fine discriminations are achieved by means of opponent processing size discrimination is determined by antagonism between neurons that are coarsely selective for size, and orientation discrimination is mediated by neurons that are coarsely selective for orientation. Opponent processing implies that the neurons that determine detection are not the neurons that determine fine discrimination we have experimentally verified that prediction. 2 We have measured motion discrimination in pilots and attempted to predict flying performance in simulators and telemetry-tracked aircraft. Correlations between laboratory tests and flying performance were encouraging, and were much stronger than for simple visual sensitivities such as motion on contrast sensitivity. 3 Some objects are invisible unless they move relative to the background, for example, a grassy hillock viewed against grass in nap of the earth helicopter flight. We have compared human visual sensitivity to such objects, with sensitivity to conventional objects defined by brightness difference. Spatial summation area, and temporal summation area are much larger for motion-defined objects than for brightness-defined objects. 4 We report evidence that the Vector Analysis technique of mathematics may be relevant to the physiological study of visual cues in guided self-motion. Keywords Vision flying performance spatial form vision motion perception size discrimination camouflage orientation discrimination.
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