Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio

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First Name
Last Name
Serrano Pedraza
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Psicología Experimental, Procesos Cognitivos y Logopedia
Psicología Básica
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Now showing 1 - 10 of 27
  • Publication
    Low spatial frequency filtering modulates early brain processing of affective complex pictures
    (Elsevier, 2007-11-05) Alorda, Catalina; Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Campos Bueno, José Javier; Sierra Vázquez, Vicente; Montoya, Pedro
    Recent research on affective processing has suggested that low spatial frequency information of fearful faces provide rapid emotional cues to the amygdala, whereas high spatial frequencies convey fine-grained information to the fusiform gyrus, regardless of emotional expression. In the present experiment, we examined the effects of low (LSF, <15 cycles/image width) and high spatial frequency filtering (HSF, >25 cycles/image width) on brain processing of complex pictures depicting pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral scenes. Event-related potentials (ERP), percentage of recognized stimuli and response times were recorded in 19 healthy volunteers. Behavioral results indicated faster reaction times in response to unpleasant LSF than to unpleasant HSF pictures. Unpleasant LSF pictures and pleasant unfiltered pictures also elicited significant enhancements of P1 amplitudes at occipital electrodes as compared to neutral LSF and unfiltered pictures, respectively; whereas no significant effects of affective modulation were found for HSF pictures. Moreover, mean ERP amplitudes in the time between 200 and 500ms post-stimulus were significantly greater for affective (pleasant and unpleasant) than for neutral unfiltered pictures; whereas no significant affective modulation was found for HSF or LSF pictures at those latencies. The fact that affective LSF pictures elicited an enhancement of brain responses at early, but not at later latencies, suggests the existence of a rapid and preattentive neural mechanism for the processing of motivationally relevant stimuli, which could be driven by LSF cues. Our findings confirm thus previous results showing differences on brain processing of affective LSF and HSF faces, and extend these results to more complex and social affective pictures.
  • Publication
    Power spectrum model of visual masking: simulations and empirical data
    (Optical Society of America, 2013-06) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Sierra Vázquez, Vicente; Derrington, Andrew M
    In the study of the spatial characteristics of the visual channels, the power spectrum model of visual masking is one of the most widely used. When the task is to detect a signal masked by visual noise, this classical model assumes that the signal and the noise are previously processed by a bank of linear channels and that the power of the signal at threshold is proportional to the power of the noise passing through the visual channel that mediates detection. The model also assumes that this visual channel will have the highest ratio of signal power to noise power at its output. According to this, there are masking conditions where the highest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) occurs in a channel centered in a spatial frequency different from the spatial frequency of the signal (off-frequency looking). Under these conditions the channel mediating detection could vary with the type of noise used in the masking experiment and this could affect the estimation of the shape and the bandwidth of the visual channels. It is generally believed that notched noise, white noise and double bandpass noise prevent off-frequency looking, and high-pass, low-pass and bandpass noises can promote it independently of the channel's shape. In this study, by means of a procedure that finds the channel that maximizes the SNR at its output, we performed numerical simulations using the power spectrum model to study the characteristics of masking caused by six types of one-dimensional noise (white, high-pass, low-pass, bandpass, notched, and double bandpass) for two types of channel's shape (symmetric and asymmetric). Our simulations confirm that (1) high-pass, low-pass, and bandpass noises do not prevent the off-frequency looking, (2) white noise satisfactorily prevents the off-frequency looking independently of the shape and bandwidth of the visual channel, and interestingly we proved for the first time that (3) notched and double bandpass noises prevent off-frequency looking only when the noise cutoffs around the spatial frequency of the signal match the shape of the visual channel (symmetric or asymmetric) involved in the detection. In order to test the explanatory power of the model with empirical data, we performed six visual masking experiments. We show that this model, with only two free parameters, fits the empirical masking data with high precision. Finally, we provide equations of the power spectrum model for six masking noises used in the simulations and in the experiments.
  • Publication
    Procesos visuales de demodulación espacial
    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Servicio de Publicaciones, 2006) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Sierra Vázquez, Vicente
    Esta Tesis estudia el mecanismo visual implicado en el procesamiento de imágenes cuyas características no son accesibles a los canales o filtros del mecanismo de primer orden propuestos por la teoría multicanal. Esas imágenes se han denominado estímulos de segundo orden y el mecanismo implicado en su procesamiento, mecanismo de segundo orden. Los estímulos de segundo orden utilizados aquí son imágenes de contraste modulado (CM) y el esquema propuesto para demodular su contraste es el denominado filtro-rectificación-filtro (FRF). El propósito de la Tesis es completar algunos aspectos de ese esquema. En primer lugar, se ha probado la linealidad del mecanismo de segundo orden. En segundo lugar, se caracterizaron los filtros de la primera etapa del esquema FRF utilizando el paradigma de enmascaramiento y dos modelos de detección: canal fijo y canal óptimo (que tiene en cuenta el efecto de off-frequency looking). Se confirmó que la forma de la FTM de los canales es asimétrica y que su anchura de banda en octavas decrece con su frecuencia de pico. En tercer lugar, generalizando el paradigma de enmascaramiento al dominio de la modulación en amplitud, se caracterizaron los filtros de la segunda etapa. Para ello, se midieron los umbrales de detección de estímulos CM en los que la modulación sinusoidal del contraste fue enmascarada por ruido modulador paso-banda. Los resultados obtenidos sugieren que la segunda etapa se compone de un banco de filtros lineales solapados, selectivos a la frecuencia de modulación, que descomponen la envolvente de la imagen en el rango de 1 a 15 c/gav y cuya anchura de banda en octavas decrece con la frecuencia de pico del filtro. Así, esa estructura parece replicar la arquitectura funcional conocida del mecanismo de primer orden. Con estos resultados, se diseñó un modelo computable de demodulación visual de la amplitud que explica resultados experimentales previos y fenómenos de la percepción visual de la forma, como el agrupamiento perceptivo y la percepción de ilusiones geométricas cuyo espectro de Fourier carece de bajas frecuencias espaciales.
  • Publication
    Visual suppression in intermittent exotropia during binocular alignment.
    (2011-04) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Manjunath, Vina; Osunkunle, Olaoluwakitan; Clarke, Michael P; Read, Jenny C A
    PURPOSE To investigate the cortical mechanisms that prevent diplopia in intermittent exotropia (X(T)) during binocular alignment (orthotropia). METHODS The authors studied 12 X(T) patients aged 5 to 22 years. Seventy-five percent had functional stereo vision with stereoacuity similar to that of 12 age-matched controls (0.2-3.7 min arc). Identical face images were presented to the two eyes for 400 ms. In one eye, the face was presented at the fovea; in the other, offset along the horizontal axis with up to 12° eccentricity. The task was to indicate whether one or two faces were perceived. RESULTS All X(T) patients showed normal diplopia when the nonfoveal face was presented to nasal hemiretina, though with a slightly larger fusional range than age-matched controls. However, 10 of 12 patients never experienced diplopia when the nonfoveal face was presented to temporal hemiretina (i.e., when the stimulus simulated exodeviation). Patients showed considerable variability when the single image was perceived. Some patients suppressed the temporal stimulus regardless of which eye viewed it, whereas others suppressed a particular eye even when it viewed the foveal stimulus. In two patients, the simulated exodeviation might have triggered a shift from normal to anomalous retinal correspondence. CONCLUSIONS Antidiplopic mechanisms in X(T) can be reliably triggered by purely retinal information during orthotropia, but the nature of these mechanisms varies between patients.
  • Publication
    Characterizing visual asymmetries in contrast perception using shaded stimuli.
    (Scholar One, 2015-12-01) Chacón Gómez, José; Castellanos López, Miguel Ángel; Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio
    Previous research has shown a visual asymmetry in shaded stimuli where the perceived contrast depended on the polarity of their dark and light areas (Chacón, 2004). In particular, circles filled out with a top-dark luminance ramp were perceived with higher contrast than top-light ones although both types of stimuli had the same physical contrast. Here, using shaded stimuli, we conducted four experiments in order to find out if the perceived contrast depends on: (a) the contrast level, (b) the type of shading (continuous vs. discrete) and its degree of perceived three-dimensionality, (c) the orientation of the shading, and (d) the sign of the perceived contrast alterations. In all experiments the observers' tasks were to equate the perceived contrast of two sets of elements (usually shaded with opposite luminance polarity), in order to determine the subjective equality point. Results showed that (a) there is a strong difference in perceived contrast between circles filled out with luminance ramp top-dark and top-light that is similar for different contrast levels; (b) we also found asymmetries in contrast perception with different shaded stimuli, and this asymmetry was not related with the perceived three-dimensionality but with the type of shading, being greater for continuous-shading stimuli;
  • Publication
    Multiple channels for horizontal, but only one for vertical corrugations? A new look at the stereo anisotropy.
    (2010) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Read, Jenny C A
    Stereo vision displays a well-known anisotropy: disparity-defined slant is easier to detect for rotations about a horizontal axis than about a vertical axis, and low-frequency sinusoidal depth corrugations are easier to detect when the corrugations are horizontal than when they are vertical. Here, we determined disparity thresholds for vertically and horizontally oriented depth corrugations with both sinusoidal and square-wave profiles. We found that the orientation anisotropy for square waves is much weaker than for sine waves and is almost independent of frequency. This weaker anisotropy for square waves can be explained by considering the Fourier harmonics present in the stimulus. Using linear models imported from the luminance and texture perception domain, the disparity thresholds for square waves can be very well predicted from those for sine waves, for both horizontally and vertically oriented corrugations. For horizontally oriented corrugations, models based on the root mean square of the output of a single linear channel or the output of multiple linear channels worked equally well. This is consistent with previous evidence suggesting that stereo vision has multiple channels tuned to different spatial frequencies of horizontally oriented disparity modulations. However, for vertically oriented corrugations, only the root mean squared output of a single linear channel explained the data. We suggest that the stereo anisotropy may arise because the stereo system possesses multiple spatial frequency channels for detecting horizontally oriented modulations in horizontal disparity, but only one for vertically oriented modulations.
  • Publication
    Effects of spatial frequency content on classification of face gender and expression.
    (2010-11) Aguado Aguilar, Luis; Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Rodríguez, Sonia; Román, Francisco J
    The role of different spatial frequency bands on face gender and expression categorization was studied in three experiments. Accuracy and reaction time were measured for unfiltered, low-pass (cut-off frequency of 1 cycle/deg) and high-pass (cutoff frequency of 3 cycles/deg) filtered faces. Filtered and unfiltered faces were equated in root-mean-squared contrast. For low-pass filtered faces reaction times were higher than unfiltered and high-pass filtered faces in both categorization tasks. In the expression task, these results were obtained with expressive faces presented in isolation (Experiment 1) and also with neutral-expressive dynamic sequences where each expressive face was preceded by a briefly presented neutral version of the same face (Experiment 2). For high-pass filtered faces different effects were observed on gender and expression categorization. While both speed and accuracy of gender categorization were reduced comparing to unfiltered faces, the efficiency of expression classification remained similar. Finally, we found no differences between expressive and non expressive faces in the effects of spatial frequency filtering on gender categorization (Experiment 3). These results show a common role of information from the high spatial frequency band in the categorization of face gender and expression.
  • Publication
    Spatial frequency bandwidth of surround suppression tuning curves.
    (Scholar One, 2012) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Grady, John P; Read, Jenny C A
    The contrast detection threshold of a grating located in the periphery is increased if a surrounding grating of the same frequency and orientation is present. This inhibition between center and surround has been termed surround suppression. In this work we measured the spatial frequency bandwidth of surround suppression in the periphery for different spatial frequencies (0.5, 1.1, 3, and 5 cycles/deg) of a sinusoidal grating (target) surrounded by a grating with different spatial frequencies (surround). Using a Bayesian adaptive staircase, we measured contrast detection thresholds in an 8AFC detection task in which the target (grating with a 2.3-deg Butterworth window) could appear in one of eight possible positions at 4° eccentricity. The target was surrounded by a grating (with a 18° Butterworth window) with the same or an orthogonal orientation. In each session we fixed the spatial frequency of the target and changed the spatial frequency and the orientation of the surround. When the surround was orthogonal to the target, the thresholds were similar to those obtained without surround, independent of the surrounding spatial frequency. However, when the target and surround had the same orientation and spatial frequency, the contrast threshold was increased by a factor ranging from 3 to 6 across subjects. This suppression reduced rapidly as the spatial frequency of the surround moved away from that of the target. The bandwidth of the suppressive effect depended on spatial frequency, declining from 2.9 octaves at 0.5 c/deg to 1 octave for frequencies above 3 c/deg. This is consistent with the bandwidth of individual simple cells in visual cortex and of spatial frequency channels measured psychophysically, both of which decline with increasing spatial frequency. This suggests that surround suppression may be due to relatively precise inhibition by cells with the same tuning as the target.
  • Publication
    The effect of white-noise mask level on sinewave contrast detection thresholds and the critical-band-masking model
    (2006-11) Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Sierra Vázquez, Vicente
    It is known that visual noise added to sinusoidal gratings changes the typical U-shaped threshold curve which becomes flat in log-log scale for frequencies below 10c/deg when gratings are masked with white noise of high power spectral density level. These results have been explained using the critical-band-masking (CBM) model by supposing a visual filter-bank of constant relative bandwidth. However, some psychophysical and biological data support the idea of variable octave bandwidth. The CBM model has been used here to explain the progressive change of threshold curves with the noise mask level and to estimate the bandwidth of visual filters. Bayesian staircases were used in a 2IFC paradigm to measure contrast thresholds of horizontal sinusoidal gratings (0.25-8 c/deg) within a fixed Gaussian window and masked with one-dimensional, static, broadband white noise with each of five power density levels. Raw data showed that the contrast threshold curve progressively shifts upward and flattens out as the mask noise level increases. Theoretical thresholds from the CBM model were fitted simultaneously to the data at all five noise levels using visual filters with log-Gaussian gain functions. If we assume a fixed-channel detection model, the best fit was obtained when the octave bandwidth of visual filters decreases as a function of peak spatial frequency.
  • Publication
    Saccades and microsaccades during visual fixation, exploration, and search: foundations for a common saccadic generator.
    (2008) Otero Millan, Jorge; Troncoso, Xoana G; Macknik, Stephen L; Serrano Pedraza, Ignacio; Martinez Conde, Susana
    Microsaccades are known to occur during prolonged visual fixation, but it is a matter of controversy whether they also happen during free-viewing. Here we set out to determine: 1) whether microsaccades occur during free visual exploration and visual search, 2) whether microsaccade dynamics vary as a function of visual stimulation and viewing task, and 3) whether saccades and microsaccades share characteristics that might argue in favor of a common saccade-microsaccade oculomotor generator. Human subjects viewed naturalistic stimuli while performing various viewing tasks, including visual exploration, visual search, and prolonged visual fixation. Their eye movements were simultaneously recorded with high precision. Our results show that microsaccades are produced during the fixation periods that occur during visual exploration and visual search. Microsaccade dynamics during free-viewing moreover varied as a function of visual stimulation and viewing task, with increasingly demanding tasks resulting in increased microsaccade production. Moreover, saccades and microsaccades had comparable spatiotemporal characteristics, including the presence of equivalent refractory periods between all pair-wise combinations of saccades and microsaccades. Thus our results indicate a microsaccade-saccade continuum and support the hypothesis of a common oculomotor generator for saccades and microsaccades.