Abstract

Luminance thresholds for the resolution of parallel line grating test patterns were determined by the method of constant stimuli. Measurements were made in the dark-adapted eye. Thresholds were determined with each of eight selected color filters and also with Wratten neutral tint filters. Seven gratings were used which required visual acuities from 0.042 to 0.625. With gratings requiring a high order of visual acuity, minimum luminances for resolution of a grating are very nearly the same for all the color filters. As visual acuity requirements are decreased, however, luminance thresholds determined with red filters become higher relative to thresholds determined with other filters. Luminance thresholds with blue filters become lower relative to thresholds obtained with other filters. These results are interpreted to indicate that changes in the threshold criterion may result in changes in the character of visual function from rod function through mesopic function to cone function even though the eye remains dark-adapted. In situations where an individual is adapted to a visual field of low over-all luminance and must periodically, in short glimpses, read visual displays at higher levels of illumination, the appropriate specification of the relative effectiveness of illumination wavelengths will depend on the visual acuity required to read the display.

© 1957 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).
  2. S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965–977 (1936).
  3. C. G. Meuller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 34, 223–227 (1948).
    [Crossref]
  4. Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).
  5. G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93–105 (1937).
  6. S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239–290 (1937).
  7. J. L. Brown, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 44, 48–55 (1954).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  8. Brown, Graham, Leibowitz, and Ranken, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43, 197–202 (1953).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  9. A. L. Diamond and A. S. Gilinsky, “Luminance thresholds for the resolution of visual detail during dark adaptation following different durations of light adaptation,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, April, 1952.
  10. C. S. Bridgman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 44, 394–396 (1954).
    [Crossref]
  11. W. de W. Abney and F. L. Festing, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) 50, 371–372 (1891–1892).
  12. A. H. Taylor, Illum. Eng. 38, 89–98 (1943).
  13. K. S. Weaver, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 278–291 (1949).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  14. W. D. Wright, Researches on Normal and Defective Color Vision (C. V. Mosby and Company, St. Louis, 1947).
  15. C. S. Bridgman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43, 733 (1953).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  16. B. O’Brien, “A study of night myopia,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, May, 1953.
  17. Y. Hsia and C. H. Graham, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 38, 80–85 (1952).
    [Crossref]
  18. I. E. S. Lighting Handbook (Illuminating Engineering Society, New York, 1947).
  19. J. W. T. Walsh, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 278–291 (1949).
    [Crossref]

1954 (2)

1953 (2)

1952 (1)

Y. Hsia and C. H. Graham, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 38, 80–85 (1952).
[Crossref]

1949 (2)

1948 (1)

C. G. Meuller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

1943 (1)

A. H. Taylor, Illum. Eng. 38, 89–98 (1943).

1942 (1)

Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).

1938 (1)

Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).

1937 (2)

G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93–105 (1937).

S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239–290 (1937).

1936 (1)

S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965–977 (1936).

Abney, W. de W.

W. de W. Abney and F. L. Festing, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) 50, 371–372 (1891–1892).

Bridgman, C. S.

Brown,

Brown, J. L.

Chase,

Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).

Clark, A. B.

G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93–105 (1937).

Diamond, A. L.

A. L. Diamond and A. S. Gilinsky, “Luminance thresholds for the resolution of visual detail during dark adaptation following different durations of light adaptation,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, April, 1952.

Festing, F. L.

W. de W. Abney and F. L. Festing, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) 50, 371–372 (1891–1892).

Gilinsky, A. S.

A. L. Diamond and A. S. Gilinsky, “Luminance thresholds for the resolution of visual detail during dark adaptation following different durations of light adaptation,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, April, 1952.

Graham,

Graham, C. H.

Y. Hsia and C. H. Graham, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 38, 80–85 (1952).
[Crossref]

Hecht,

Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239–290 (1937).

S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965–977 (1936).

Hsia, Y.

Y. Hsia and C. H. Graham, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 38, 80–85 (1952).
[Crossref]

Leibowitz,

Lloyd, V. V.

C. G. Meuller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

Meuller, C. G.

C. G. Meuller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

O’Brien, B.

B. O’Brien, “A study of night myopia,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, May, 1953.

Patt,

Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).

Peskin,

Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).

Ranken,

Shlaer,

Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).

Shlaer, S.

S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965–977 (1936).

Smith,

Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).

Taylor, A. H.

A. H. Taylor, Illum. Eng. 38, 89–98 (1943).

Wald, G.

G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93–105 (1937).

Walsh, J. W. T.

Weaver, K. S.

Wright, W. D.

W. D. Wright, Researches on Normal and Defective Color Vision (C. V. Mosby and Company, St. Louis, 1947).

Illum. Eng. (1)

A. H. Taylor, Illum. Eng. 38, 89–98 (1943).

J. Gen. Physiol. (4)

Shlaer, Smith, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 25, 553–569 (1942).

S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965–977 (1936).

Hecht, Peskin, and Patt, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 7–19 (1938).

G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93–105 (1937).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (6)

Physiol. Rev. (1)

S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239–290 (1937).

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. (2)

C. G. Meuller and V. V. Lloyd, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 34, 223–227 (1948).
[Crossref]

Y. Hsia and C. H. Graham, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. 38, 80–85 (1952).
[Crossref]

Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) (1)

W. de W. Abney and F. L. Festing, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) 50, 371–372 (1891–1892).

Other (4)

A. L. Diamond and A. S. Gilinsky, “Luminance thresholds for the resolution of visual detail during dark adaptation following different durations of light adaptation,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, April, 1952.

I. E. S. Lighting Handbook (Illuminating Engineering Society, New York, 1947).

B. O’Brien, “A study of night myopia,” , Wright Air Development Center, U. S. Air Force, May, 1953.

W. D. Wright, Researches on Normal and Defective Color Vision (C. V. Mosby and Company, St. Louis, 1947).

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the apparatus. See text for explanation of symbols.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Log threshold luminance as a function of the logarithm of visual acuity required for resolution of the grating test objects. Curves have been labeled in terms of the spectral selective filters which were used. Curves for both observers, PK and JB, have been shifted along the ordinate in amounts indicated at the right-hand side of the figure.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Relative equivalent density for each of the color filters as a function of the logarithm of threshold luminance measured with neutrally filtered light. The derivation of relative equivalent density is described in the text. Curves have been positioned along the ordinate axis in accordance with the positions of curves in Fig. 2. Data of observers PK and JB.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table I Values employed in the calculation of threshold luminances.

Tables Icon

Table II Logarithm of threshold luminance in millilamberts for the detection of light and for the identification of parallel line grating orientations. Gratings represented visual acuities from 0.042 to 0.625. Thresholds were obtained with eight different color filters and with neutral filters. Observers were PK and JB. Filters are identified by manufacturer’s number and color appearance.

Equations (2)

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LUM ( THRESH . ) = T N × T ω T λ K λ E λ Δ λ ,
370 740 K λ E λ Δ λ .