Abstract

An experimental determination was made of absolute visual thresholds in the human fovea. An apparatus permitting independent variation of area and exposure time, and having a fixation device that minimally affects the adaptation level of the region under investigation was used. Seven stimulus areas, ranging from 1 minute to 1 degree in diameter were presented to 4 subjects at durations of 1.1, 3.8, 10.0, and 48.0 milliseconds. The results show that all area-threshold functions depart from Ricco’s law. The functions which were obtained depart from linearity, while the degree of curvature varies among subjects. As exposure time is increased there is a regular related decrease in thresholds for all stimuli. This decrease in threshold is in good agreement with the Bunson-Roscoe law, which states that the product of time and intensity is a constant.

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  1. W. Nagel in Helmholtz' Treatise on Physiological Optics, translated from 3rd German Edition, Vol. II, "The Sensations of Vision" (Optical Society of America, New York, 1924).
  2. H. Piéron, Ann. psychol. 30, 87 (1929).
  3. Graham, Brown, and Mote, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 555 (1939).
  4. E. Baumgardt, J. Gen. Physiol. 31, 269 (1948).
  5. E. Willmer, Quart. J. Exptl. Psychol. 2, 53 (1950).
  6. R. Houstoun, Vision and Colour Vision (Longmans, Green, London, 1932), pp. 49–51.
  7. C. Graham and N. Bartlett, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 574 (1939).
  8. H. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).
  9. H. Sperling, MRL Report No. 287 (May 20, 1957).
  10. B. O'Brien and N. Miller, Wright Air Development Center Technical Report 53–198 (May, 1953).
  11. G. Wald, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 269 (1938).

B. O’Brien, B.

B. O'Brien and N. Miller, Wright Air Development Center Technical Report 53–198 (May, 1953).

Bartlett, N.

C. Graham and N. Bartlett, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 574 (1939).

Baumgardt, E.

E. Baumgardt, J. Gen. Physiol. 31, 269 (1948).

Graham, C.

C. Graham and N. Bartlett, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 574 (1939).

Houstoun, R.

R. Houstoun, Vision and Colour Vision (Longmans, Green, London, 1932), pp. 49–51.

Karn, H.

H. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).

Miller, N.

B. O'Brien and N. Miller, Wright Air Development Center Technical Report 53–198 (May, 1953).

Nagel, W.

W. Nagel in Helmholtz' Treatise on Physiological Optics, translated from 3rd German Edition, Vol. II, "The Sensations of Vision" (Optical Society of America, New York, 1924).

Piéron, H.

H. Piéron, Ann. psychol. 30, 87 (1929).

Sperling, H.

H. Sperling, MRL Report No. 287 (May 20, 1957).

Wald, G.

G. Wald, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 269 (1938).

Willmer, E.

E. Willmer, Quart. J. Exptl. Psychol. 2, 53 (1950).

Other (11)

W. Nagel in Helmholtz' Treatise on Physiological Optics, translated from 3rd German Edition, Vol. II, "The Sensations of Vision" (Optical Society of America, New York, 1924).

H. Piéron, Ann. psychol. 30, 87 (1929).

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

E. Baumgardt, J. Gen. Physiol. 31, 269 (1948).

E. Willmer, Quart. J. Exptl. Psychol. 2, 53 (1950).

R. Houstoun, Vision and Colour Vision (Longmans, Green, London, 1932), pp. 49–51.

C. Graham and N. Bartlett, J. Exptl. Psychol. 24, 574 (1939).

H. Karn, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 360 (1936).

H. Sperling, MRL Report No. 287 (May 20, 1957).

B. O'Brien and N. Miller, Wright Air Development Center Technical Report 53–198 (May, 1953).

G. Wald, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 269 (1938).

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