Abstract

The threshold visibility of uniformly moving colored gratings was investigated. The gratings were equiluminous sine-wave patterns, generated on a color-television display. The traveling waves were detected by the subject over a range of three log units of background illuminance, including various spatial- and temporal-frequency combinations. The experiments indicate that no resonance phenomena occur in the spatiotemporal color-discrimination system of the eye. This system probably functions as a low-pass filter. The color coding takes place in much narrower frequency bands than the brightness coding. A regular motion of the pattern never enhances the visibility of the color gratings. The temporal characteristics of the chromatic-discrimination system show very much resemblance to its spatial qualities. Our experiments show that the threshold chromatic contrast is proportional to the square root of the illuminance. This fundamental relationship can easily be understood from the statistical properties of the photons, absorbed in the differential receptor systems.

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  1. G. J. C. van der Horst, C. M. M. de Weert, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57,1260 (1967).
  2. F. J. J. Clarke, in Symposium: Colour Measurement in Industry (The Colour Group, London), p. 132 (1967).
  3. H. Schober and H. Munker, Vision Res. 7, 1015 (1967).
  4. D. G. Green, J. Physiol. (London) 196, 415 (1968).
  5. S. M. Luria and S. Weissman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 1068 (1965).
  6. H. Wright, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1264 (1966).
  7. M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).
  8. G. J. C. van der Horst, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1213 (1969).
  9. F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).
  10. The disadvantage of using a drifting wave pattern is that the temporal frequency ƒt is always coupled to the spatial frequency ƒs, for the temporal frequency is defined as the number of cycles that has passed per second a fixed point in the target. Or ƒt = υ· ƒs, in which υ is the velocity of translation.
  11. The highest spatial frequency we used, 18 cpd, consisted of 17 television lines per cycle.
  12. R. Barakat and S. Lerman, Appl. Opt. 6, 545 (1967).
  13. J. W. Coltman and A. E. Anderson, Proc. IRE 48, 858 (1960).
  14. J. Nachmias, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 9 (1968).
  15. F. L. van Nes, thesis, Utrecht (1968).
  16. J. M. Findlay, Vision Res. 9, 157 (1969).
  17. The studies of Nachmias14 and Van Nes15 on brightness discrimination may be compatible with our case. They show that the sensitivity for a small number of cycles is consistently lower than for a full grating. Their results indicate that the decline of sensitivity for the lowest-frequency grating may be several tens of percent.
  18. H. de Vries, Physica 10, 553 (1943).
  19. A. Rose, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 196 (1948).
  20. R. Hilz and C. R. Cavonius, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1558A (1968).
  21. O. H. Schade, J. Soc. Motion Picture Television Engrs. 67, 801 (1958).
  22. G. J. C. van der Horst and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 7,1027 (1967).
  23. N. W. Daw, Nature 203, 215 (1964).
  24. Opt. Soc. Am. Technical Group Report, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 441 (1968).
  25. G. J. C. van der Horst and W. Muis, Vision Res. 9, 953 (1969).
  26. F. L. Van Nes, Am. J. Psychol. 81, 367 (1968).
  27. D. L. MacAdam, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 32, 247 (1942).

Anderson, A. E.

J. W. Coltman and A. E. Anderson, Proc. IRE 48, 858 (1960).

Barakat, R.

R. Barakat and S. Lerman, Appl. Opt. 6, 545 (1967).

Bouman, M. A.

G. J. C. van der Horst, C. M. M. de Weert, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57,1260 (1967).

F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).

G. J. C. van der Horst and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 7,1027 (1967).

Cavonius, C. R.

R. Hilz and C. R. Cavonius, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1558A (1968).

Clarke, F. J. J.

F. J. J. Clarke, in Symposium: Colour Measurement in Industry (The Colour Group, London), p. 132 (1967).

Coltman, J. W.

J. W. Coltman and A. E. Anderson, Proc. IRE 48, 858 (1960).

Daw, N. W.

N. W. Daw, Nature 203, 215 (1964).

de Vries, H.

H. de Vries, Physica 10, 553 (1943).

de Weert, C. M. M.

G. J. C. van der Horst, C. M. M. de Weert, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57,1260 (1967).

Findlay, J. M.

J. M. Findlay, Vision Res. 9, 157 (1969).

Green, D. G.

D. G. Green, J. Physiol. (London) 196, 415 (1968).

Hilz, R.

R. Hilz and C. R. Cavonius, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1558A (1968).

Koenderink, J. J.

F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).

Lerman, S.

R. Barakat and S. Lerman, Appl. Opt. 6, 545 (1967).

Luria, S. M.

S. M. Luria and S. Weissman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 1068 (1965).

MacAdam, D. L.

D. L. MacAdam, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 32, 247 (1942).

Muis, W.

G. J. C. van der Horst and W. Muis, Vision Res. 9, 953 (1969).

Munker, H.

H. Schober and H. Munker, Vision Res. 7, 1015 (1967).

Nachmias, J.

J. Nachmias, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 9 (1968).

Nas, H.

F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).

Rose, A.

A. Rose, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 196 (1948).

Schade, O. H.

O. H. Schade, J. Soc. Motion Picture Television Engrs. 67, 801 (1958).

Schober, H.

H. Schober and H. Munker, Vision Res. 7, 1015 (1967).

Siegel, M. H.

M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).

van der Horst, G. J. C.

G. J. C. van der Horst and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 7,1027 (1967).

G. J. C. van der Horst and W. Muis, Vision Res. 9, 953 (1969).

G. J. C. van der Horst, C. M. M. de Weert, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57,1260 (1967).

G. J. C. van der Horst, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1213 (1969).

van Nes, F. L.

F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).

F. L. Van Nes, Am. J. Psychol. 81, 367 (1968).

F. L. van Nes, thesis, Utrecht (1968).

Weissman, S.

S. M. Luria and S. Weissman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 1068 (1965).

Wright, H.

H. Wright, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1264 (1966).

Other (27)

G. J. C. van der Horst, C. M. M. de Weert, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57,1260 (1967).

F. J. J. Clarke, in Symposium: Colour Measurement in Industry (The Colour Group, London), p. 132 (1967).

H. Schober and H. Munker, Vision Res. 7, 1015 (1967).

D. G. Green, J. Physiol. (London) 196, 415 (1968).

S. M. Luria and S. Weissman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 1068 (1965).

H. Wright, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1264 (1966).

M. H. Siegel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 566 (1965).

G. J. C. van der Horst, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1213 (1969).

F. L. van Nes, J. J. Koenderink, H. Nas, and M. A. Bouman, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1082 (1967).

The disadvantage of using a drifting wave pattern is that the temporal frequency ƒt is always coupled to the spatial frequency ƒs, for the temporal frequency is defined as the number of cycles that has passed per second a fixed point in the target. Or ƒt = υ· ƒs, in which υ is the velocity of translation.

The highest spatial frequency we used, 18 cpd, consisted of 17 television lines per cycle.

R. Barakat and S. Lerman, Appl. Opt. 6, 545 (1967).

J. W. Coltman and A. E. Anderson, Proc. IRE 48, 858 (1960).

J. Nachmias, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 9 (1968).

F. L. van Nes, thesis, Utrecht (1968).

J. M. Findlay, Vision Res. 9, 157 (1969).

The studies of Nachmias14 and Van Nes15 on brightness discrimination may be compatible with our case. They show that the sensitivity for a small number of cycles is consistently lower than for a full grating. Their results indicate that the decline of sensitivity for the lowest-frequency grating may be several tens of percent.

H. de Vries, Physica 10, 553 (1943).

A. Rose, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 196 (1948).

R. Hilz and C. R. Cavonius, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 1558A (1968).

O. H. Schade, J. Soc. Motion Picture Television Engrs. 67, 801 (1958).

G. J. C. van der Horst and M. A. Bouman, Vision Res. 7,1027 (1967).

N. W. Daw, Nature 203, 215 (1964).

Opt. Soc. Am. Technical Group Report, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 58, 441 (1968).

G. J. C. van der Horst and W. Muis, Vision Res. 9, 953 (1969).

F. L. Van Nes, Am. J. Psychol. 81, 367 (1968).

D. L. MacAdam, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 32, 247 (1942).

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