Abstract

Luminance thresholds for the resolution of various widths of grating line were determined during dark adaptation following light adaptation to luminances of 0.98, 100, 1290, and 11 200 millilamberts. The dark adaptation curves for the finest gratings, representing high visual acuity, start at a high initial luminance and drop to a final steady level after 5 to 10 minutes in the dark, as is characteristic of cone function. Curves for coarser gratings may display both cone and rod portions, or after light adaptation to low luminances may represent rod function only. The higher the degree of resolution required, the higher the position of the dark-adaptation curve on the log threshold luminance axis. Increasing the level of light adaptation results in higher initial threshold luminances and a more gradual decline to a final steady value. The final steady value of threshold luminance for a given grating size is little influenced by the level of light adaptation.

© 1954 Optical Society of America

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