Humans can easily discriminate a randomly spaced from a regularly spaced visual pattern. Here, we demonstrate that observers can adapt to pattern randomness. Following their adaption to prolonged exposure to two-dimensional patterns with varying levels of physical randomness, observers judged the randomness of the pattern. Perceived randomness decreased (increased) following adaptation to high (low) physical randomness (Experiment 1). Adaptation to 22.5-rotated adaptor stimuli did not cause a randomness aftereffect (Experiment 2), suggesting that positional variation is unlikely to be responsible for the pattern randomness perception. Moreover, the aftereffect was not selective to contrast polarity (Experiment 3) and was not affected by spatial jitter (Experiment 4). Last, the aftereffect was not affected by adaptor configuration (Experiment 5). Our data were consistent with a model assuming filter-rectify-filter processing for orientation inputs. Thus, we infer that neural processing for orientation grouping/segregation underlies the perception of pattern randomness.
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