Abstract

A light pulsing above the critical flicker frequency (CFF) significantly elevates, and one pulsing below CFF significantly depresses, subsequent CFF measurements. The characteristics of these phenomena, their dependence upon the duration of fixation, the luminance of the measuring and the adaptation lights, and the duration of the after-effect are described in the present series of experiments. The effects are virtually as pronounced if the pulsing adaptation light is viewed with one eye and the measuring light with the other, as when both adapting and measuring lights are seen by the same eye. It is proposed that the driving is a direct consequence of a change in the frequency characteristics of the responses of cells in the visual system to photic stimulation. Measurements of the brightness of lights, pulsing at various rates immediately after viewing lights pulsing above and below the CFF, confirm certain predictions of this hypothesis.

© 1961 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. S. Sugiyama, Japan. J. Psychol. 25, 41 (1954). Also, S. Sugiyama, Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 1955.
  2. P. A. Snell, J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 20, 367 (1933).
  3. E. Simonson, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 47, 556 (1959).
    [PubMed]
  4. H. Arnold, Arbeitsphysiologie 15, 62 (1953).
  5. M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
    [PubMed]
  6. In the experiments on brightness enhancement it became necessary to place a dark field between the surround and the center. To accomplish this a field stop was mounted in front of the Maxwellian view lens. In these experiments the central flickering field was only about 1.25° in diameter; around it was a concentric dark annulus which had an outside diameter of 2° and around this was the 6° steady bright surround.
  7. H. Maheneke, Acta Ophthalmol. 35, 53 (1957).
    [Crossref]
  8. In this latter case it was not possible for the observer to decide whether this light was “steady” or, in fact, pulsing at a rate above the CFF.
  9. These experiments were begun in the spring of 1958, and have only recently been concluded. Not all of the subjects have been available for all experiments. In all 10, young adult males have served as subjects and the effects obtained were more or less consistently found for each subject tested.
  10. Tabular results have been deposited as Document Number 6823 with the ADI Auxiliary Publications Project, Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress, Washington 25, D. C. A copy may be secured by citing the Document number and by remitting $1.25 for photoprints or $1.25 for 35-mm microfilm. Advanced payment is required. Make checks or money orders payable to: Chief, Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress.
  11. W. M. Kincaid, Am. Math. Monthly 65, 551 (1958).
  12. S. Hecht and C. D. Verrijp, J. Gen. Physiol. 17, 269 (1933).
  13. S. Hecht and S. Schlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965 (1936).
  14. S. Hecht and E. L. Smith, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 979 (1936).
  15. T. L. Jahn, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 76 (1946).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  16. L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  17. R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
    [Crossref]
  18. In the case illustrated this was true 38 times in the 40 repetitions. Only with a very low probability (P<0.00006) could this have occurred by chance.
  19. These cumulative measurement effects are emphasized in this kind of experiment, in which a number of successive measurements are made one after the other and plotted as a function of time.
  20. Apparatus limitations required the surround to be held fixed at 25 ft-L for all luminance levels equal to or higher than this value, in this experiment.
  21. R. H. Peckham and W. M. Hart, Science 130, 1256 (1959).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  22. O. J. Grüsser and O. Creutzfeldt, Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s 263, 688 (1957).
  23. R. L. DeValois, A. M. A. Arch. Opthalmol. 60, 784 (1958).
  24. S. H. Bartley, J. Exptl. Psychol. 23, 313 (1938).
    [Crossref]
  25. S. H. Bartley, Psychol. Rev. 46, 337 (1939).
    [Crossref]
  26. W. C. Halstead, J. Exptl. Psychol. 28, 524 (1941).
    [Crossref]

1961 (2)

L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
[Crossref]

1960 (1)

M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
[PubMed]

1959 (2)

E. Simonson, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 47, 556 (1959).
[PubMed]

R. H. Peckham and W. M. Hart, Science 130, 1256 (1959).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1958 (2)

R. L. DeValois, A. M. A. Arch. Opthalmol. 60, 784 (1958).

W. M. Kincaid, Am. Math. Monthly 65, 551 (1958).

1957 (2)

H. Maheneke, Acta Ophthalmol. 35, 53 (1957).
[Crossref]

O. J. Grüsser and O. Creutzfeldt, Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s 263, 688 (1957).

1954 (1)

S. Sugiyama, Japan. J. Psychol. 25, 41 (1954). Also, S. Sugiyama, Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 1955.

1953 (1)

H. Arnold, Arbeitsphysiologie 15, 62 (1953).

1946 (1)

1941 (1)

W. C. Halstead, J. Exptl. Psychol. 28, 524 (1941).
[Crossref]

1939 (1)

S. H. Bartley, Psychol. Rev. 46, 337 (1939).
[Crossref]

1938 (1)

S. H. Bartley, J. Exptl. Psychol. 23, 313 (1938).
[Crossref]

1936 (2)

S. Hecht and S. Schlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965 (1936).

S. Hecht and E. L. Smith, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 979 (1936).

1933 (2)

P. A. Snell, J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 20, 367 (1933).

S. Hecht and C. D. Verrijp, J. Gen. Physiol. 17, 269 (1933).

Alpern, M.

M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
[PubMed]

Arnold, H.

H. Arnold, Arbeitsphysiologie 15, 62 (1953).

Bartley, S. H.

S. H. Bartley, Psychol. Rev. 46, 337 (1939).
[Crossref]

S. H. Bartley, J. Exptl. Psychol. 23, 313 (1938).
[Crossref]

Boynton, R. M.

R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
[Crossref]

Cavonius, C. R.

L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Creutzfeldt, O.

O. J. Grüsser and O. Creutzfeldt, Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s 263, 688 (1957).

DeValois, R. L.

R. L. DeValois, A. M. A. Arch. Opthalmol. 60, 784 (1958).

Flitman, D. B.

M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
[PubMed]

Grüsser, O. J.

O. J. Grüsser and O. Creutzfeldt, Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s 263, 688 (1957).

Halstead, W. C.

W. C. Halstead, J. Exptl. Psychol. 28, 524 (1941).
[Crossref]

Hart, W. M.

R. H. Peckham and W. M. Hart, Science 130, 1256 (1959).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hecht, S.

S. Hecht and S. Schlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965 (1936).

S. Hecht and E. L. Smith, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 979 (1936).

S. Hecht and C. D. Verrijp, J. Gen. Physiol. 17, 269 (1933).

Ikeda, M.

R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
[Crossref]

Jahn, T. L.

Johnson, E. P.

L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Joseph, R. H.

M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
[PubMed]

Kincaid, W. M.

W. M. Kincaid, Am. Math. Monthly 65, 551 (1958).

Maheneke, H.

H. Maheneke, Acta Ophthalmol. 35, 53 (1957).
[Crossref]

Peckham, R. H.

R. H. Peckham and W. M. Hart, Science 130, 1256 (1959).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Riggs, L. A.

L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Schlaer, S.

S. Hecht and S. Schlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965 (1936).

Simonson, E.

E. Simonson, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 47, 556 (1959).
[PubMed]

Smith, E. L.

S. Hecht and E. L. Smith, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 979 (1936).

Snell, P. A.

P. A. Snell, J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 20, 367 (1933).

Sturr, J. E.

R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
[Crossref]

Sugiyama, S.

S. Sugiyama, Japan. J. Psychol. 25, 41 (1954). Also, S. Sugiyama, Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 1955.

Verrijp, C. D.

S. Hecht and C. D. Verrijp, J. Gen. Physiol. 17, 269 (1933).

A. M. A. Arch. Opthalmol. (1)

R. L. DeValois, A. M. A. Arch. Opthalmol. 60, 784 (1958).

Acta Ophthalmol. (1)

H. Maheneke, Acta Ophthalmol. 35, 53 (1957).
[Crossref]

Am. J. Ophthalmol. (2)

E. Simonson, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 47, 556 (1959).
[PubMed]

M. Alpern, D. B. Flitman, and R. H. Joseph, Am. J. Ophthalmol. 49, 1194 (1960).
[PubMed]

Am. Math. Monthly (1)

W. M. Kincaid, Am. Math. Monthly 65, 551 (1958).

Arbeitsphysiologie (1)

H. Arnold, Arbeitsphysiologie 15, 62 (1953).

Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s (1)

O. J. Grüsser and O. Creutzfeldt, Arch. ges. Physiol., Pflüger’s 263, 688 (1957).

J. Exptl. Psychol. (2)

S. H. Bartley, J. Exptl. Psychol. 23, 313 (1938).
[Crossref]

W. C. Halstead, J. Exptl. Psychol. 28, 524 (1941).
[Crossref]

J. Gen. Physiol. (3)

S. Hecht and C. D. Verrijp, J. Gen. Physiol. 17, 269 (1933).

S. Hecht and S. Schlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 965 (1936).

S. Hecht and E. L. Smith, J. Gen. Physiol. 19, 979 (1936).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (2)

T. L. Jahn, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 76 (1946).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. M. Boynton, J. E. Sturr, and M. Ikeda, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 15, 196 (1961).
[Crossref]

J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. (1)

P. A. Snell, J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 20, 367 (1933).

Japan. J. Psychol. (1)

S. Sugiyama, Japan. J. Psychol. 25, 41 (1954). Also, S. Sugiyama, Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 1955.

Nature (1)

L. A. Riggs, C. R. Cavonius, and E. P. Johnson, Nature 189, 383 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Psychol. Rev. (1)

S. H. Bartley, Psychol. Rev. 46, 337 (1939).
[Crossref]

Science (1)

R. H. Peckham and W. M. Hart, Science 130, 1256 (1959).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (7)

In the experiments on brightness enhancement it became necessary to place a dark field between the surround and the center. To accomplish this a field stop was mounted in front of the Maxwellian view lens. In these experiments the central flickering field was only about 1.25° in diameter; around it was a concentric dark annulus which had an outside diameter of 2° and around this was the 6° steady bright surround.

In the case illustrated this was true 38 times in the 40 repetitions. Only with a very low probability (P<0.00006) could this have occurred by chance.

These cumulative measurement effects are emphasized in this kind of experiment, in which a number of successive measurements are made one after the other and plotted as a function of time.

Apparatus limitations required the surround to be held fixed at 25 ft-L for all luminance levels equal to or higher than this value, in this experiment.

In this latter case it was not possible for the observer to decide whether this light was “steady” or, in fact, pulsing at a rate above the CFF.

These experiments were begun in the spring of 1958, and have only recently been concluded. Not all of the subjects have been available for all experiments. In all 10, young adult males have served as subjects and the effects obtained were more or less consistently found for each subject tested.

Tabular results have been deposited as Document Number 6823 with the ADI Auxiliary Publications Project, Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress, Washington 25, D. C. A copy may be secured by citing the Document number and by remitting $1.25 for photoprints or $1.25 for 35-mm microfilm. Advanced payment is required. Make checks or money orders payable to: Chief, Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress.

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Figures (8)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Effect of viewing for 3 min a light pulsing at various frequencies on CFF measurements. The results are the means of 10 measurements on each of 4 observers. The range of the mean for each observer at each frequency is also indicated on the graph. The approximate CFF of the measuring stimulus (prior to adaptation) was 30 cps. The abscissa (to the right) shows the frequency above the actual CFF; (to the left) it shows the frequency below the actual CFF. Both scales are in units of cps.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Frequency of fused responses reported by three observers to lights pulsing at various rates before and after a 3-min fixation of 31 cps or 19 cps or a steady light of the same Talbot luminance. The points (and solid lines) represent measurements before fixation; the open circles (and dotted lines) represent measurements made after fixation. Each point is the mean of 30 repetitions. The difference between “after” measurements under all three viewing conditions also differed significantly from each other (P<0.005) for each observer.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Mean data of the results illustrated in Fig. 2. The “before” measurements are the means of 270 repetitions. The other data are the means of 90 repetitions.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Effect of variation of duration of prior fixation on subsequent measurements of CFF (approximate value 30 cps). The open circles show effect of a light pulsing 6 cps above the CFF; the filled circles show the effect of light pulsing 6 cps below the CFF. The ordinate is the difference between two measurements, the one immediately prior to, the other immediately after fixation. The experiment was repeated 10 times on each of 2 observers and the plotted points are the mean data.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Aftereffect of viewing for 3 min (time interval between the arrows) a pulsing light on subsequent CFF measurements. The filled circles show the effect of looking at a light pulsing 6 cps below the CFF, the unfilled circles the effect of looking at a light pulsing 6 cps above the CFF. The dotted lines approximate the form of the respective curves from Fig. 4. The measurements were made at each successive point during each session and the results are the means of 10 repetitions on each of 2 observers.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

The effect of varying luminance upon photic driving of the CFF. The x’s represent measurements made prior to viewing the pulsing light. Results from two experiments are illustrated. In the first, the luminance of both the measuring and the pulsing adapting light were varied together and in this experiment the closed circles show the effect of looking at a light pulsing 6 cps below CFF; the open circles, the effect of looking at a light pulsing 6 cps above the CFF. All of these differences are significant (P<0.02) except those at luminances of 0.1 troland and smaller. In the second experiment, the luminance of the measuring light was held fixed at 0.5 log10 trolands, at which the approximate CFF is 25 cps and the luminance of the pulsing adaptation light varied in the absence of any surround. The effects of viewing the light pulsing 6 cps above (open circles) the CFF at 0.5 log10 trolands measuring light and 6 cps below (closed circles) the CFF at 0.5 log10 trolands measuring light are shown with the means of the 30 measurements prior to fixation arbitrarily adjusted to 25 cps. All of these differences are significant (P<0.05) except for the closed circle at 1.0 troland, the point of transition between the phenomenally fused and phenomenally flickering adapting light.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

The luminance of the steady surround (B) required to match the pulsing central field (A) when the latter is exposed at various rates. The arrow represents the CFF at this particular luminance. The steady and Talbot luminances are also indicated on the graph.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Results of a series of experiments like that illustrated in Fig. 7 on 3 observers when the brightness measurement was preceded by 1-min fixation of a pulsing light. The Talbot luminance of each adapting light and the intermittent test stimulus were identical. At the beginning of each session, five measurements of CFF were made immediately after the (steady) center and the surround were equated at 12 ft-L. The observer was then exposed to the light pulsing 6 cps either above (open circles) or below (closed circles) the CFF for 1 min. After this the rate of pulsation of the central field was set at one of the five rates, selected at random, and the subject varied the surround luminance until a brightness match between the center and the surround was established. The experimenter then recorded the reading and reset the illuminometer to 12 ft-L while the subject closed his eyes. The subject then adapted to the light pulsing at exactly the same frequency, as the previous adaptation, for one minute, and adjusted the surround to match the center light pulsing at another one of these rates. In this way the process was repeated until measurements for all five rates had been completed. This whole set of measurements was then repeated from one to four times in any given experimental session. In all, 25 measurements were completed for each condition of observation and for each observer. The plotted points are the mean results. At a given rate the first match made under the conditions of the filled circles is compared only to the first match made under the conditions of the unfilled circles; the second only to the second, and so on. The probability that each mean difference between filled and unfilled circles at each rate could have occurred by chance (sign test) is shown in the figure.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table I Effect of viewing pulsing lights on CFF (N=30).