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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 60, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1970
  • pp: 555–559

Spatial-Frequency Discrimination in Human Vision


JOSA, Vol. 60, Issue 4, pp. 555-559 (1970)

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Subjects were presented with two gratings with different spatial frequencies and they were asked to discriminate one from the other. Their ability to discriminate between the gratings was found to depend primarily on the ratio of their spatial frequencies over a wide range of absolute frequency. At high spatial frequencies, discrimination deteriorates when differences of subjective contrast are eliminated.

FERGUS W. CAMPBELL, JACOB NACHMIAS, and JOHN JUKES, "Spatial-Frequency Discrimination in Human Vision," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 555-559 (1970)

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  1. F. W. Campbell, G. F. Cooper, and Christina Enroth-Cugell, J. Physiol. (London) 203, 223 (1969).
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  11. Because, in our experiments, the subject was about equally often correct on the two types of trial, the normal deviates have a particular significance in the theory of signal detectability [See D. M. Green and J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1966).] Let us suppose that the internal effect of the frequency of a grating can be represented by a random variable. Let us further suppose that, for a given frequency, the random variable is distributed normally, with only the mean of the distribution depending upon the frequency of the grating. Upon these assumptions, the normal deviate of correct responses is just half the value of the mean difference between the distributions generated on high- and low-frequency trials in units of their standard deviation.
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  15. 15 B. Bourdon, La perception visuelle de l'espace (Schleicher Frères, Paris, 1902), p. 116.

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