OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 52, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 1962
  • pp: 700–705

Brightness of a Field as a Function of its Area

A. LEONARD DIAMOND  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 52, Issue 6, pp. 700-705 (1962)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (888 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The brightness of a test field as a function of its area was investigated in the fovea at different levels of luminance. A circular test field, which varied in area, was presented to the subject’s right eye. A circular match field, held at a constant intermediate area, was presented to the subject’s left eye. The subject’s task was to match the two fields in brightness employing the psychophysical method of limits. The dependent variable was the test luminance required either to match a constant match luminance in brightness or to produce a constant threshold effect. The test-field radius was varied in six steps from 2.69′ to 26.86′, for any one of six levels of match-field luminance from threshold to 2.56 logmL. The results showed that only at threshold were there systematic differences in test luminance as a function of test area. Threshold luminance decreased as area increased. At suprathreshold test luminance, differences that did occur were not systematic nor greater than might occur from day to day. A theoretical account is presented based upon possible inhibitory interaction in the retina of “on” by “off” nerve fibers. Curves generated by this theory are fitted to the data.

A. LEONARD DIAMOND, "Brightness of a Field as a Function of its Area," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 700-705 (1962)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. C. H. Graham, R. H. Brown, and F. A. Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
  2. A. L. Diamond, J. Exptl. Psychol. 45, 304 (1953).
  3. E. G. Heinemann, J. Exptl. Psychol. 50, 89 (1955).
  4. R. M. Hanes, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 28 (1951).
  5. J. P. Guilford, Psychometric Methods (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1936).
  6. A. L. Diamond, J. Exptl. Psychol. 50, 144 (1955).
  7. A. L. Diamond, Psychol. Rev. 67, 168 (1960).
  8. H. K. Hartline, Am. J. Physiol. 121, 400 (1938).
  9. R. Granit, Receptors and Sensory Perception (Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 1955).
  10. E. D. Adrian, The Basis of Sensation (Christophers, London, 1928).
  11. H. K. Hartline and C. H. Graham, J. Cellular Physiol. 1, 277 (1932).
  12. H. K. Hartline and F. Ratliff, J. Gen. Physiol. 40, 357 (1957).
  13. H. K. Hartline, H. G. Wagner, and F. Ratliff, J. Gen. Physiol. 39, 651 (1956).
  14. H. B. Barlow, R. FitzHugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 125, 28 (1954).
  15. R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
  16. G. A. Fry and M. Alpern, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43, 189 (1953).
  17. H. Leibowitz, F. A. Mote, and W. R. Thurlow, J. Exptl. Psychol. 46, 453 (1953).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited