Adaptation to a spatially uniform field that increases or decreases in luminance over time yields a “ramp aftereffect”, whereby a steady, uniform luminance appears to dim or brighten, and an appropriate non-uniform test field appears to move. We measured the duration of this aftereffect of adaptation to ascending and descending luminance for a wide range of temporal frequencies and luminance amplitudes. Three types of luminance ramp profiles were used: linear, logarithmic, and exponential. The duration of the motion aftereffect increased as amplitude increased, regardless of the frequency, slope, or ramp profile of the adapting pattern. At low luminance, this result held for ascending luminance adaptation, but the duration of the aftereffect was significantly reduced for descending luminance adaptation. This reduction in the duration of the aftereffect at low luminance is consistent with differential recruitment of temporally tuned cells of the ON and OFF pathways, but the relative independence of the effect from temporal frequency is not.
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