Chapter

Gain Control and External and Internal Noise

Stephen Handel

in Perceptual Coherence

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169645
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169645.003.0006
 Gain Control and External and Internal Noise

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One fundamental problem for the auditory and visual systems is that the range of external energy is far greater than the firing range of individual neurons. To minimize response saturation, both systems have evolved gain control mechanisms based on multiplicative and subtractive adaptation. Weber's ratio demonstrates the invariance of discrimination across energy levels. The second fundamental problem is to overcome the external and internal noise that disrupts perception. Perceptual efficiency refers to the ability to identify objects in the presence of such noise based on matched filter models. Profile analysis and comodulation release demonstrate that performance is based on the distribution of noise across the spectrum and not merely noise surrounding the stimulus.

Keywords: comodulation release; external noise; internal noise; Gain control; matched filters; multiplicative adaptation; subtractive adaptation; perceptual efficiency; profile analysis; response saturation

Chapter.  19298 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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