Dynamic images of individual signs of American Sign Language (ASL) with a resolution of 96 × 64 pixels were bandpass filtered in adjacent frequency bands. Intelligibility was determined by testing deaf subjects fluent in ASL. The following results were obtained. (1) By iteratively varying the center frequencies and bandwidths of the spatial bandpass filters, it was possible to divide the original signal into four different component bands of high intelligibility. (2) The measured temporal-frequency spectrum was approximately the same in all bands. (3) The masking of signals in band i by noise in band j was found to be inversely proportional to log |fsignal/fnoise|. At constant performance, the ratio of root-mean-square signal amplitude to noise amplitude, s/n, was the same for bands 2, 3, and 4 and higher for band 1. (4) When weak signals i and j were added linearly, there was a slight intelligibility advantage for signals in the same band (i = j) compared with signals in adjacent bands and for signals in adjacent bands compared with signals in distant bands.
© 1988 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 27, 1987
Manuscript Accepted: December 10, 1987
Published: April 1, 1988
Thomas R. Riedl and George Sperling, "Spatial-frequency bands in complex visual stimuli: American Sign Language," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 606-616 (1988)