Abstract

This paper reports experimental results showing the effect of mean retinal illuminance on the modulation transfer function (MTF). The line spread function of the human visual system was computed. The test pattern in which the luminance varied sinusoidally in the horizontal direction was generated on the face of an oscilloscope by modulating the intensity of the beam.

The behavior of the system changes with the mean retinal illuminance. At the highest mean retinal illuminance (1000 td) the MTF shows two peaks which gradually disappear at lower mean retinal illuminances. The line spread function of the entire visual system also exhibits a change in shape dependent on the mean retinal illuminance. In particular, what are deemed inhibitory influences become less prominent at lower mean retinal illuminance. From the line spread function of the optical part up to the retina, the line spread function of the physiological part of the visual system is also evaluated.

A common asymptote appears at high frequencies when the characteristics are plotted in terms of absolute deviation from the mean versus spatial frequency for threshold perception. The asymptote provides an upper bound for the behavior of visual acuity at any retinal illuminance.

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  1. E. W. H. Selwyn, Phot. J. B88, 6 (1948).
  2. O. H. Schade, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 721 (1956).
  3. K. J. Rosenbruch, Optik 16, 135 (1959).
  4. G. Westheimer, J. Physiol. 152, 67 (1960).
  5. E. M. Lowry and J. J. DePalma, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 740 (1961).
  6. J. J. DePalma and E. M. Lowry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 328 (1962).
  7. J. G. Robson and F. W. Campbell, "The Physiological Basis for Form Discrimination," Symposium at Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology, Brown University, 23–24 January 1964.
  8. A note [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1441 (1961)] announced the decision of ICO subcommittee for Image Assessment Problems to use this term when phase is not pertinent in the complex optical transfer function.
  9. S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937–38).
  10. R. C. Jones, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 1934 (1958).
  11. R. B. Blackman and J. W. Tukey, The Measuremtent of Power Spectra (Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1959).
  12. F. Flamant, Rev. Optique 34, 433 (1955).
  13. G. Westheimer and F. W. Campbell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1040 1962).
  14. J. Krauskopf, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1046 (1962).
  15. R. J. Beitel, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 31 (1936).
  16. G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optom. 25, 162 (1948).
  17. G. A. Fry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 94 (1963).
  18. G. V. Bekesy, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 50, 1060 (1960).
  19. S. W. Kuffler, J. Neurophysiol. 16, 37 (1953).
  20. H. B. Barlow, R. Fitzhugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 137, 338 (1957).
  21. A Rochon-Duvigneaud, Arch. Anat. Micro. 9, 315 (1906–07).
  22. S. L. Polyak, The Retina (Chicago University Press, 1941).
  23. The details and notations of F test and S method presented here are given in the book The Analysis of Variance by H. Scheffe (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959).
  24. The details and notations of this test are given in the book Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics by M. Fisz (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1963).

Barlow, H. B.

H. B. Barlow, R. Fitzhugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 137, 338 (1957).

Beitel, R. J.

R. J. Beitel, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 31 (1936).

Bekesy, G. V.

G. V. Bekesy, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 50, 1060 (1960).

Blackman, R. B.

R. B. Blackman and J. W. Tukey, The Measuremtent of Power Spectra (Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1959).

Campbell, F. W.

J. G. Robson and F. W. Campbell, "The Physiological Basis for Form Discrimination," Symposium at Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology, Brown University, 23–24 January 1964.

G. Westheimer and F. W. Campbell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1040 1962).

DePalma, J. J.

E. M. Lowry and J. J. DePalma, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 740 (1961).

J. J. DePalma and E. M. Lowry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 328 (1962).

Fisz, M.

The details and notations of this test are given in the book Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics by M. Fisz (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1963).

Fitzhugh, R.

H. B. Barlow, R. Fitzhugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 137, 338 (1957).

Flamant, F.

F. Flamant, Rev. Optique 34, 433 (1955).

Fry, G. A.

G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optom. 25, 162 (1948).

G. A. Fry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 94 (1963).

Jones, R. C.

R. C. Jones, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 1934 (1958).

Krauskopf, J.

J. Krauskopf, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1046 (1962).

Kuffler, S. W.

H. B. Barlow, R. Fitzhugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 137, 338 (1957).

S. W. Kuffler, J. Neurophysiol. 16, 37 (1953).

Lowry, E. M.

E. M. Lowry and J. J. DePalma, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 740 (1961).

J. J. DePalma and E. M. Lowry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 328 (1962).

Polyak, S. L.

S. L. Polyak, The Retina (Chicago University Press, 1941).

Robson, J. G.

J. G. Robson and F. W. Campbell, "The Physiological Basis for Form Discrimination," Symposium at Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology, Brown University, 23–24 January 1964.

Rochon-Duvigneaud, A

A Rochon-Duvigneaud, Arch. Anat. Micro. 9, 315 (1906–07).

Rosenbruch, K. J.

K. J. Rosenbruch, Optik 16, 135 (1959).

Schade, O. H.

O. H. Schade, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 721 (1956).

Scheffe, H.

The details and notations of F test and S method presented here are given in the book The Analysis of Variance by H. Scheffe (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959).

Selwyn, E. W. H.

E. W. H. Selwyn, Phot. J. B88, 6 (1948).

Shlaer, S.

S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937–38).

Tukey, J. W.

R. B. Blackman and J. W. Tukey, The Measuremtent of Power Spectra (Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1959).

Westheimer, G.

G. Westheimer and F. W. Campbell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1040 1962).

G. Westheimer, J. Physiol. 152, 67 (1960).

Other (24)

E. W. H. Selwyn, Phot. J. B88, 6 (1948).

O. H. Schade, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 721 (1956).

K. J. Rosenbruch, Optik 16, 135 (1959).

G. Westheimer, J. Physiol. 152, 67 (1960).

E. M. Lowry and J. J. DePalma, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 740 (1961).

J. J. DePalma and E. M. Lowry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 328 (1962).

J. G. Robson and F. W. Campbell, "The Physiological Basis for Form Discrimination," Symposium at Walter S. Hunter Laboratory of Psychology, Brown University, 23–24 January 1964.

A note [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1441 (1961)] announced the decision of ICO subcommittee for Image Assessment Problems to use this term when phase is not pertinent in the complex optical transfer function.

S. Shlaer, J. Gen. Physiol. 21, 165 (1937–38).

R. C. Jones, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 1934 (1958).

R. B. Blackman and J. W. Tukey, The Measuremtent of Power Spectra (Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1959).

F. Flamant, Rev. Optique 34, 433 (1955).

G. Westheimer and F. W. Campbell, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1040 1962).

J. Krauskopf, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1046 (1962).

R. J. Beitel, J. Gen. Psychol. 14, 31 (1936).

G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optom. 25, 162 (1948).

G. A. Fry, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 94 (1963).

G. V. Bekesy, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 50, 1060 (1960).

S. W. Kuffler, J. Neurophysiol. 16, 37 (1953).

H. B. Barlow, R. Fitzhugh, and S. W. Kuffler, J. Physiol. 137, 338 (1957).

A Rochon-Duvigneaud, Arch. Anat. Micro. 9, 315 (1906–07).

S. L. Polyak, The Retina (Chicago University Press, 1941).

The details and notations of F test and S method presented here are given in the book The Analysis of Variance by H. Scheffe (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959).

The details and notations of this test are given in the book Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics by M. Fisz (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1963).

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