Adaptation to mean and variance: Interrelationships between mean and variance representations in orientation perception

Jinhyeok Jeong, Sang Chul Chong

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7 Citations (Scopus)


When there are many visual items, the visual system could represent their summary statistics (e.g., mean, variance) to process them efficiently. Although many previous studies have investigated the mean or variance representation itself, a relationship between these two ensemble representations has not been investigated much. In this study, we tested the potential interaction between mean and variance representations by using a visual adaptation method. We reasoned that if mean and variance representations interact with each other, an adaptation aftereffect to either mean or variance would influence the perception of the other. Participants watched a sequence of orientation arrays containing a specific statistical property during the adaptation period. To produce an adaptation aftereffect specific to variance or mean, one property of the adaptor arrays (variance or mean) had a fixed value while the other property was randomly varied. After the adaptation, participants were asked to discriminate the property of the test array that was randomly varied during the adaptation. We found that the adaptation aftereffect of orientation variance influenced the sensitivity of mean orientation discrimination (Experiment 1), and that the adaptation aftereffect of mean orientation influenced the bias of orientation variance discrimination (Experiment 2). These results suggest that mean and variance representations do closely interact with each other. Considering that mean and variance reflect the representative value and dispersion of multiple items respectively, the interactions between mean and variance representations may reflect their complementary roles to summarize complex visual information effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF- 2019R1A2B5B01070038 ). All of the data was presented at the 2019 Vision Sciences Society meeting. The raw data for all the experiments are available on the Open Science Framework (

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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