Luminosity - a perceptual "feature" of light-emitting objects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Light-emitting objects are perceived as qualitatively different from light-reflecting objects, and the two categories elicit different cortical activity. However, it is unclear whether object luminosity is treated as an independent visual feature, comparable to orientation, motion or colour. Visual search tasks revealed that light-emitting targets led to efficient search when presented with light-reflecting distractors of similar luminance, but this efficiency was induced by the presence of luminance gradients producing the percept of luminosity rather than by luminosity itself. This implies that luminance gradients (not object luminosity) are encoded as features, questioning the existence of specific sensory mechanisms to detect light-emitting objects.
Translated title of the contributionLuminosity - a perceptual "feature" of light-emitting objects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3915 - 3925
Number of pages11
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


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