Abstract

Luminance thresholds for the visual resolution of various widths of alternating light and dark lines were determined at various times during dark adaptation. The finest gratings, representing high degrees of visual acuity, show only a single cone curve that drops from a high luminance threshold during the first moments of dark adaptation to a final steady level that is reached after about 7 to 10 minutes in the dark. Coarse gratings produce a duplex curve that shows an initial cone portion and a delayed rod portion. Visual acuity is a parameter that sets the position of a given curve on the log threshold axis. The higher the degree of resolution required, the higher the dark adaptation threshold. At a constant grating luminance, visual acuity rises rapidly to a maximum during dark adaptation; the higher the luminance, the earlier and more rapid the rise and the higher the maximum. Visual acuity increases at all dark adaptation times with increase in luminance.

© 1953 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. G. Wald and A. B. Clark, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 93 (1937).
  2. D. E. Johannsen, J. Gen. Psychol. 10, 4 (1934).
    [CrossRef]
  3. Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).
  4. C. P. Winsor and A. B. Clark, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 22, 400 (1936).
    [CrossRef]
  5. Mote, Riopelle, and Meyer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 40, 584 (1950).
    [CrossRef]
  6. Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
    [CrossRef]
  7. S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239 (1937).
  8. C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 299 (1935).
  9. E. Wolf and M. J. Zigler, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 40, 211 (1950).
    [CrossRef]
  10. An experiment similar to the experiment herein reported came to the attention of the authors while this manuscript was in press: A. J. Marshall and R. H. Day, Australian J. Psychol. 3, 1 (1951). Discussion of this experiment will be presented in a subsequent report dealing with the effects of different preadapting luminances.
    [CrossRef]
  11. S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937).
  12. S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 28, 269 (1938).
    [CrossRef]

1951 (1)

An experiment similar to the experiment herein reported came to the attention of the authors while this manuscript was in press: A. J. Marshall and R. H. Day, Australian J. Psychol. 3, 1 (1951). Discussion of this experiment will be presented in a subsequent report dealing with the effects of different preadapting luminances.
[CrossRef]

1950 (2)

1939 (1)

Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
[CrossRef]

1938 (1)

1937 (4)

S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937).

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

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

Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).

1936 (1)

C. P. Winsor and A. B. Clark, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 22, 400 (1936).
[CrossRef]

1935 (1)

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 299 (1935).

1934 (1)

D. E. Johannsen, J. Gen. Psychol. 10, 4 (1934).
[CrossRef]

Brown,

Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Chase,

Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).

Clark, A. B.

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

C. P. Winsor and A. B. Clark, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 22, 400 (1936).
[CrossRef]

Day, R. H.

An experiment similar to the experiment herein reported came to the attention of the authors while this manuscript was in press: A. J. Marshall and R. H. Day, Australian J. Psychol. 3, 1 (1951). Discussion of this experiment will be presented in a subsequent report dealing with the effects of different preadapting luminances.
[CrossRef]

Graham,

Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Graham, C. H.

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 299 (1935).

Haig,

Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).

Hecht,

Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).

Hecht, S.

Johannsen, D. E.

D. E. Johannsen, J. Gen. Psychol. 10, 4 (1934).
[CrossRef]

Margaria, R.

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 299 (1935).

Marshall, A. J.

An experiment similar to the experiment herein reported came to the attention of the authors while this manuscript was in press: A. J. Marshall and R. H. Day, Australian J. Psychol. 3, 1 (1951). Discussion of this experiment will be presented in a subsequent report dealing with the effects of different preadapting luminances.
[CrossRef]

Meyer,

Mote,

Mote, Riopelle, and Meyer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 40, 584 (1950).
[CrossRef]

Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Riopelle,

Shlaer, S.

S. Hecht and S. Shlaer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 28, 269 (1938).
[CrossRef]

S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937).

Wald, G.

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

Winsor, C. P.

C. P. Winsor and A. B. Clark, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 22, 400 (1936).
[CrossRef]

Wolf, E.

Zigler, M. J.

Am. J. Physiol. (1)

C. H. Graham and R. Margaria, Am. J. Physiol. 113, 299 (1935).

Australian J. Psychol. (1)

An experiment similar to the experiment herein reported came to the attention of the authors while this manuscript was in press: A. J. Marshall and R. H. Day, Australian J. Psychol. 3, 1 (1951). Discussion of this experiment will be presented in a subsequent report dealing with the effects of different preadapting luminances.
[CrossRef]

J. Exptl. Psychol. (1)

Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
[CrossRef]

J. Gen. Physiol. (3)

S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937).

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

Hecht, Haig, and Chase, J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831 (1937).

J. Gen. Psychol. (1)

D. E. Johannsen, J. Gen. Psychol. 10, 4 (1934).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (3)

Physiol. Rev. (1)

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

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (1)

C. P. Winsor and A. B. Clark, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 22, 400 (1936).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (3)

F. 1
F. 1

Luminance thresholds for different acuities during dark adaptation. The number beside each curve refers to the level of acuity. Data for subjects JB and SS.

F. 2
F. 2

Visual acuity at constant grating luminance as a function of time in the dark. Curves are computed from those of Fig. 1. The number beside each curve specifies the constant value of grating luminance.

F. 3
F. 3

Visual acuity as a function of grating luminance. Data are computed from the curves of Fig. 1. The number beside each curve refers to a constant value of time in the dark.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table I Log threshold luminance in millilamberts at different times in the dark for different visual acuities and for no grating. 3 mm artificial pupil. Duration of flash: 0.016 second. Field diameter: 7.3 degrees. Brightness of preadapting light is 1500 millilamberts viewed binocularly without artificial pupil. Subjects JB and SS.