Abstract

A system has been devised for causing an image to remain at one point on the retina regardless of eye movements. A beam of light, reflected from a plane mirror on a contact lens, is used to project onto a screen an image of a dark line against a bright background. The screen is viewed by the same eye through an optical system which compensates for the doubling of the angle of rotation of the beam projected from the mirror on the contact lens. Thus, any motion of the eye causes a deviation of the beam such that the retinal image of the projected line undergoes the same displacement as do the retinal receptor cells. By comparison with normal viewing of the same test objects it is found that (1) when first presented, the finest lines are seen with normal or slightly better than normal acuity, (2) within a few seconds the lines begin to disappear, and (3) within one minute even coarse lines are seen only intermittently. The results may be interpreted in terms of local retinal adaptation to a stationary field.

© 1953 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. B. O’Brien, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 882–894 (1951).
    [Crossref]
  2. S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1938–39).
    [Crossref]
  3. S. Hecht, Physiol. Rev. 17, 239–290 (1937).
  4. H. K. Hartline, Am. J. Physiol. 130, 690–699 (1940).
  5. R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947).
  6. M. Lord and W. D. Wright, Repts. Progr. in Phys. 13, 1–23 (1950).
    [Crossref]
  7. F. Ratliff and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 40, 687–701 (1950).
    [Crossref]
  8. F. Ratliff, J. Exptl. Psychol. 43, 163–172 (1952).
    [Crossref]
  9. R. W. Ditchburn and B. L. Ginsborg, Nature 170, 4314, 36–37 (1952).
  10. Strictly speaking, the measures of acuity for Conditions I and II are not exactly comparable because the images are reflected from different mirrors for the two conditions. Thus, the images may have been slightly different in quality or luminance.
  11. The data from the first three seconds of each one-minute period were discarded because variations in the subjects’ reaction time obscured the meaning of those data. The remainder of these six seconds was treated as the first section of the breakdown of the one-minute period.
  12. L. A. Riggs and J. C. Armington, Am. Psychologist 7, 252 (1952).

1952 (3)

F. Ratliff, J. Exptl. Psychol. 43, 163–172 (1952).
[Crossref]

R. W. Ditchburn and B. L. Ginsborg, Nature 170, 4314, 36–37 (1952).

L. A. Riggs and J. C. Armington, Am. Psychologist 7, 252 (1952).

1951 (1)

1950 (2)

M. Lord and W. D. Wright, Repts. Progr. in Phys. 13, 1–23 (1950).
[Crossref]

F. Ratliff and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 40, 687–701 (1950).
[Crossref]

1940 (1)

H. K. Hartline, Am. J. Physiol. 130, 690–699 (1940).

1937 (1)

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

Armington, J. C.

L. A. Riggs and J. C. Armington, Am. Psychologist 7, 252 (1952).

Ditchburn, R. W.

R. W. Ditchburn and B. L. Ginsborg, Nature 170, 4314, 36–37 (1952).

Ginsborg, B. L.

R. W. Ditchburn and B. L. Ginsborg, Nature 170, 4314, 36–37 (1952).

Granit, R.

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947).

Hartline, H. K.

H. K. Hartline, Am. J. Physiol. 130, 690–699 (1940).

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1938–39).
[Crossref]

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

Lord, M.

M. Lord and W. D. Wright, Repts. Progr. in Phys. 13, 1–23 (1950).
[Crossref]

Mintz, E. U.

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1938–39).
[Crossref]

O’Brien, B.

Ratliff, F.

F. Ratliff, J. Exptl. Psychol. 43, 163–172 (1952).
[Crossref]

F. Ratliff and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 40, 687–701 (1950).
[Crossref]

Riggs, L. A.

L. A. Riggs and J. C. Armington, Am. Psychologist 7, 252 (1952).

F. Ratliff and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 40, 687–701 (1950).
[Crossref]

Wright, W. D.

M. Lord and W. D. Wright, Repts. Progr. in Phys. 13, 1–23 (1950).
[Crossref]

Am. J. Physiol. (1)

H. K. Hartline, Am. J. Physiol. 130, 690–699 (1940).

Am. Psychologist (1)

L. A. Riggs and J. C. Armington, Am. Psychologist 7, 252 (1952).

J. Exptl. Psychol. (2)

F. Ratliff and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 40, 687–701 (1950).
[Crossref]

F. Ratliff, J. Exptl. Psychol. 43, 163–172 (1952).
[Crossref]

J. Gen. Physiol. (1)

S. Hecht and E. U. Mintz, J. Gen. Physiol. 22, 593–612 (1938–39).
[Crossref]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (1)

Nature (1)

R. W. Ditchburn and B. L. Ginsborg, Nature 170, 4314, 36–37 (1952).

Physiol. Rev. (1)

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

Repts. Progr. in Phys. (1)

M. Lord and W. D. Wright, Repts. Progr. in Phys. 13, 1–23 (1950).
[Crossref]

Other (3)

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947).

Strictly speaking, the measures of acuity for Conditions I and II are not exactly comparable because the images are reflected from different mirrors for the two conditions. Thus, the images may have been slightly different in quality or luminance.

The data from the first three seconds of each one-minute period were discarded because variations in the subjects’ reaction time obscured the meaning of those data. The remainder of these six seconds was treated as the first section of the breakdown of the one-minute period.

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

A, The contact lens used in the present experiment. B, The appearance of the visual field.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Diagram of the method for counteracting the effects of eye movements. The viewing path is effectively double the distance from the eye to the screen. The compensating path includes two dove prisms and an arrangement for providing fixation at the center of a bright annular field.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Percent time seen as a function of width of line for one-minute exposures, subjects LAR and FR. Condition I is the condition in which the effects of eye movements were “compensated,” Condition II “normal,” and Condition III “exaggerated.”

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Width of line seen 50 percent of the time during successive sections of the one-minute interval under viewing Conditions I, II, and III, subjects LAR and FR.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Width of line seen in 50 percent of flashes as a function of flash duration under viewing Conditions I, II, and III, subject LAR.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table I Data on viewing the test objects for one full minute. Widths of line test object are in seconds of visual angle. Data are mean percentage of time during which test object is reported to be seen. In parentheses are the numbers of repetitions on which the means are based.

Tables Icon

Table II Data on short exposures of the test object. Data are percentage of flashes in which test object was reported seen. Subject LAR.