Abstract

The number of cycles in a low-frequency sinusoidal display is a crucial variable in determining the visibility of the display. In particular, the threshold contrast is essentially independent of spatial frequency for these displays. We have extended the above experiments, using more cycles and a variety of targets and observer tasks. The results confirm previous findings; they also show that the type of target or task has little influence. For low-frequency sinusoids that contain up to about 3 cycles, the threshold contrast is determined by the number of cycles. For high-number-of-cycles targets with spatial frequencies above 6–10 cycles per degree, visibility is predominantly dependent on the spatial frequency. The results suggest that the low-frequency decrease in reported MTF’s is due to the decrease of the number of cycles used in determining them.

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