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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 59, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1969
  • pp: 604–609

Visibility of a Stabilized Target as a Function of Frequency and Amplitude of Luminance Variation

ULKER TULUNAY KEESEY  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 59, Issue 5, pp. 604-609 (1969)

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A luminous bar of 4 min of arc was superimposed on an evenly illuminated 1°-of-arc circular field of 3, 30, or 300 mL, and the whole target was stabilized with respect to the retina. The bar luminance was varied sinusoidally at frequencies between 2.5 and 40 Hz, and the amplitude of variation yielded time-average contrast values between 0.06 and 6. Subjects indicated the length of time the edges of the bar stayed visible within a 20-sec viewing period. Judgments were also made at 0 Hz for each of the average contrast values. When the target is steady, visibility of the bar is a monotonically increasing function of contrast. Visibility of a target of any contrast can be enhanced to a value above the level obtained at 0 Hz, when its luminance is varied around its average contrast with frequencies between 2.5 and 15 Hz. Within this range, visibility is a decreasing function of frequency, and is found to be independent of contrast. Frequencies higher than 15 Hz are ineffective in lengthening the time during which the stabilized target stays clearly visible, and target visibility at frequencies above 15 Hz becomes once more a function of time-average contrast. At frequencies between 5 and 30 Hz, perception of flicker persists after the edges of the bar target have disappeared.

ULKER TULUNAY KEESEY, "Visibility of a Stabilized Target as a Function of Frequency and Amplitude of Luminance Variation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 604-609 (1969)

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  11. We are indebted to Dr. Elmer Johnson of Madison, Wisconsin for his generous help in fitting these lenses. Dr. Johnson took a mold of the right eye of each of the observers. Plastic impressions were taken from these molds and fashioned into contact lenses by Precision-Cosmet Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota. These lenses were in full contact with the sclera and were tight at the limbal portion of the eye.
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  18. There seems to be no immediately obvious explanation for the discrepancy between the two ranges of frequencies shown to yield maintained visibility of a stabilized target unless differences of experimental conditions, such as the use of a nonstabilized fixation field in the work of Cornsweet5 and Fiorentini and Ercoles6 and ours, as opposed to a free target used by Ditchburn7 and Ditchburn and Fender,8 prove to be important.
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