OSA's Digital Library

Journal of Optical Technology

Journal of Optical Technology


  • Vol. 78, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 2011
  • pp: 797–802

Modern interpretation of the results of psychophysical studies of the threshold of visual perception of light

A. S. Tibilov and Yu. E. Shelepin  »View Author Affiliations

Journal of Optical Technology, Vol. 78, Issue 12, pp. 797-802 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (191 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



This paper shows that there currently are difficulties with the traditional interpretation of psychophysical experiments for determining the energy threshold of light perception. The functioning of the retina in the threshold regime is analyzed using models that give a new interpretation of these tests and that take into account the achievements of physiological studies of threshold vision.

© 2011 OSA

Original Manuscript: July 6, 2011
Published: December 31, 2011

A. S. Tibilov and Yu. E. Shelepin, "Modern interpretation of the results of psychophysical studies of the threshold of visual perception of light," J. Opt. Technol. 78, 797-802 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. S. I. Vavilov, The Microstructure of Light (Izd. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Moscow, 1950).
  2. G. D. Field, A. P. Sampath, and F. Rieke, “Retinal processing near absolute threshold: from behavior to mechanism,” Annu. Rev. Physiol. 67, 491 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. A. P. Sampath and G. L. Fain, “Setting the absolute threshold of vision,” F1000 Biol. Rep. 1, 66 (2009), http://f1000.com/reports/biology. [PubMed]
  4. S. Hecht, S. Shlaer, and M. H. Pirenne, “Energy, quanta, and vision,” J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 819 (1942). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. H. B. Barlow, “Retinal noise and absolute threshold,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 634 (1956). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. W. Bialek, “Biophysics: searching for principles,” http://www.princeton.edu/ wbialek/PHY562.html.
  7. E. A. Boettner and J. R. Wolter, “Transmission of the ocular media,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 1, 776 (1962).
  8. J. Van de Kraats and D. Van Norren, “Optical density of the aging human ocular media in the visible and the UV,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1842 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. D. A. Baylor, B. J. Nunn, and J. L. Schnapf, “The photocurrent, noise and spectral sensitivity of rods of the monkey Macaca fascicularis,” J. Physiol. 357, 575 (1984). [PubMed]
  10. G. D. Field and F. Rieke, “Mechanisms regulating variability of the single-photon responses of mammalian rod photoreceptors,” Neuron 35, 733 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. G. D. Field and F. Rieke, “Nonlinear signal transfer from mouse rods to bipolar cells and implications for visual sensitivity,” Neuron 34, 773 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. M. C. Van Rossum and R. G. Smith, “Noise removal at the rod synapse of mammalian retina,” Visual Neurosci. 15, 809 (1998). [CrossRef]
  13. A. D. Felice, T. Doan, P. S. Alapakkam, and F. Rieke, “Controlling the gain of rod-mediated signals in the mammalian retina,” J. Neurosci. 26, 3959 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. S. I. Vavilov, “Visual observation of light fluctuations,” Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR (Fiz. Ser.) No. 1/2, 176 (1936).
  15. H. A. Van der Velden, “The number of quanta necessary for the perception of light of the human eye,” Ophthalmologica 111, 321 (1946). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. G. S. Brindley, “The order of coincidence required for visual threshold,” Proc. Phys. Soc. London, Sect. B 67, 673 (1954). [CrossRef]
  17. E. P. Hornstein, J. Verweij, P. H. Li, and J. L. Schnapf, “Gap-junctional coupling and absolute sensitivity of photoreceptors in macaque retina,” J. Neurosci. 25, 11201 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. A. Scimemi, A. Fine, D. M. Kullmann, and D. A. Rusakov, “NR2B-containing receptors mediate cross talk among hippocampal synapses,” J. Neurosci. 24, 4767 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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