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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 60, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 1970
  • pp: 970–977

Apparent Depth of Modulation as a Function of Frequency and Amplitude of Temporal Modulations of Luminance

LAWRENCE E. MARKS  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 60, Issue 7, pp. 970-977 (1970)

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White light was temporally modulated and subjects gave magnitude estimations of the apparent depth of modulation. Three stimulus parameters were varied: level of time-average luminance, amplitude of modulation, and frequency of modulation. At the lowest luminances, apparent depth of modulation decreased monotonically as modulation frequency increased toward fusion. At the higher luminances, only large amplitudes of modulation produced monotonic functions relating apparent depth of modulation to frequency; smaller amplitudes of modulation produced nonmonotonic functions with maxima in the region of 5–10 Hz. Derived contours relating modulation amplitude to frequency for constant apparent depth of modulation generally resemble functions relating modulation amplitude to frequency for threshold.

LAWRENCE E. MARKS, "Apparent Depth of Modulation as a Function of Frequency and Amplitude of Temporal Modulations of Luminance," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 60, 970-977 (1970)

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  1. H. E. Ives, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 6, 254 (1922).
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  5. See Ref. 2, pp. 385–386.
  6. L. E. Marks and J. C. Stevens, Percept. Psychophys. 1, 17 (1966).
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  8. Figures 13–16 follow the tradition of plotting percent modulation decreasing on the ordinate.
  9. F. Veringa, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 500 (1958).
  10. The prominent plateaus that appear in Fig. 18 were less evident in Veringa's linear plot. Similar plateaus appeared in double-logarithmic plots of thresholds obtained by D. H. Kelly, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 89 (1962). These plateaus were stable, though evident in the data for only two of eight subjects. Nevertheless, the occasional occurrence of plateaus, in conjunction with the large variation of sensitivity among subjects, demonstrates the importance of analysis of data for individual subjects.
  11. The increase of brightness (above that of uninterrupted light) of a light modulated at low frequencies is sometimes termed "brightness enhancement." See, for example, G. S. Wasserman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 242 (1966). This should not be confused with another phenomenon, which Bartley has termed "brightness enhancement." [For example, see C. W. Schneider and S. H. Bartley, J. Psychol. 63, 53 (1966).] This latter phenomenon refers to the increase of brightness of an intermittent light at higher frequencies, when the brightness of the primary perceptual component is steady.
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  13. This is the relation that typically obtains between magnitude estimates of brightness and luminance. See J. C. Stevens and S. S. Stevens, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 375 (1963).
  14. See J. D. Kazsuk and S. H. Bartley, J. Psychol. 71, 281 (1969).
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  21. J. C. Stevens and L. E. Marks, Trans. Am. Soc. Heat., Refrig., Aircond. Eng. 76, Pt. I (1970).
  22. See J. Z. Levinson, Science 160, 21 (1968).
  23. How the effects of two or more suprathreshold harmonic components might combine is a question of considerable interest. Some evidence that such effects may not combine in a linear manner has been presented by J. L. Brown, Science 137, 686 (1962).

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