Abstract

In the low-spatial-frequency region (below 2 c/deg) contrast sensitivity to sinusoids does not depend on spatial frequency, but does depend on the number of cycles of sinusoid. Contrast sensitivity to sinusoids can vary from 14 to 60 depending on the amount of average-luminance area or flank adjacent to the sinusoid. The influence of average-luminance flanks does not depend on the width of the flank, but does depend on the equivalent number of cycles of flank.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |
  • |
  • |

  1. J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
    [Crossref]
  2. B. H. Crawford, “The effect of field size and pattern on the change of visual sensitivity with time,” Proc. R. Soc. (Lond) B 129, 94–106 (1940).
    [Crossref]
  3. G. Westheimer, “Spatial interaction in human cone vision,” J. Physiol. (London) 190, 139–154 (1967).
  4. R. L. Savoy and J. J. McCann, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 343–350 (1975).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  5. The Fourier spectra of these targets cannot be inferred from the nominal spatial frequencies of the sinusoid-wave portions. The Fourier spectra of such targets with a black surround are dominated by the black-to-average-luminance edge. For a discussion of this problem see R. L. Savoy, “Visibility of low-spatial frequency targets: Dependence on number of cycles and implications for spatial frequency channels,” M. S. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ref. 6.
  6. J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  7. J. J. McCann, “Visibility of gradients and low spatial frequency sinusoids: evidence for a distance constancy mechanism,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 64–68 (1978).
  8. John J. McCann, Robert L. Savoy, and John A. Hall, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 1297– (1973).
  9. J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. O. Estevez and C. R. Cavonius, “Attenuation in detection of gratings: sorting out the artefacts,” Vision Res. 16, 497–500 (1976).
    [Crossref]
  11. R. Cohen, C. R. Carlson, and G. Cody, “Image descriptors for displays,” ONR Tech. Report, Contract No. N00014-74-C-0184 (1976).
  12. R. L. Savoy, “Low spatial frequencies and low number of cycles at low luminances,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 76–79 (1978).
  13. J. J. Koenderink, M. A. Bouman, A. E. Bueno de Mequita, and S. Slappendel, “Perimetry of contrast detection thresholds of moving spatial sine wave patterns. III. The target extent as a sensitivity controlling parameter,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 854–860 (1978).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]

1978 (4)

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
[Crossref]

J. J. McCann, “Visibility of gradients and low spatial frequency sinusoids: evidence for a distance constancy mechanism,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 64–68 (1978).

R. L. Savoy, “Low spatial frequencies and low number of cycles at low luminances,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 76–79 (1978).

J. J. Koenderink, M. A. Bouman, A. E. Bueno de Mequita, and S. Slappendel, “Perimetry of contrast detection thresholds of moving spatial sine wave patterns. III. The target extent as a sensitivity controlling parameter,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 854–860 (1978).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1976 (1)

O. Estevez and C. R. Cavonius, “Attenuation in detection of gratings: sorting out the artefacts,” Vision Res. 16, 497–500 (1976).
[Crossref]

1975 (1)

1974 (2)

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1973 (1)

John J. McCann, Robert L. Savoy, and John A. Hall, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 1297– (1973).

1967 (1)

G. Westheimer, “Spatial interaction in human cone vision,” J. Physiol. (London) 190, 139–154 (1967).

1940 (1)

B. H. Crawford, “The effect of field size and pattern on the change of visual sensitivity with time,” Proc. R. Soc. (Lond) B 129, 94–106 (1940).
[Crossref]

Bilsen, F. A.

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Bouman, M. A.

Bueno de Mequita, A. E.

Carlson, C. R.

R. Cohen, C. R. Carlson, and G. Cody, “Image descriptors for displays,” ONR Tech. Report, Contract No. N00014-74-C-0184 (1976).

Cavonius, C. R.

O. Estevez and C. R. Cavonius, “Attenuation in detection of gratings: sorting out the artefacts,” Vision Res. 16, 497–500 (1976).
[Crossref]

Cody, G.

R. Cohen, C. R. Carlson, and G. Cody, “Image descriptors for displays,” ONR Tech. Report, Contract No. N00014-74-C-0184 (1976).

Cohen, R.

R. Cohen, C. R. Carlson, and G. Cody, “Image descriptors for displays,” ONR Tech. Report, Contract No. N00014-74-C-0184 (1976).

Crawford, B. H.

B. H. Crawford, “The effect of field size and pattern on the change of visual sensitivity with time,” Proc. R. Soc. (Lond) B 129, 94–106 (1940).
[Crossref]

Estevez, O.

O. Estevez and C. R. Cavonius, “Attenuation in detection of gratings: sorting out the artefacts,” Vision Res. 16, 497–500 (1976).
[Crossref]

Hall, J. A.

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
[Crossref]

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hall, John A.

John J. McCann, Robert L. Savoy, and John A. Hall, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 1297– (1973).

Hoekstra, J.

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Koenderink, J. J.

McCann, J. J.

J. J. McCann, “Visibility of gradients and low spatial frequency sinusoids: evidence for a distance constancy mechanism,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 64–68 (1978).

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
[Crossref]

R. L. Savoy and J. J. McCann, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 343–350 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

McCann, John J.

John J. McCann, Robert L. Savoy, and John A. Hall, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 1297– (1973).

Savoy, R. L.

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
[Crossref]

R. L. Savoy, “Low spatial frequencies and low number of cycles at low luminances,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 76–79 (1978).

R. L. Savoy and J. J. McCann, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 343–350 (1975).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

The Fourier spectra of these targets cannot be inferred from the nominal spatial frequencies of the sinusoid-wave portions. The Fourier spectra of such targets with a black surround are dominated by the black-to-average-luminance edge. For a discussion of this problem see R. L. Savoy, “Visibility of low-spatial frequency targets: Dependence on number of cycles and implications for spatial frequency channels,” M. S. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ref. 6.

Savoy, Robert L.

John J. McCann, Robert L. Savoy, and John A. Hall, “Visibility of low-spatial-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 63, 1297– (1973).

Scarpetti, J. J.

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Slappendel, S.

van den Brink, G.

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

van der Goot, D. P. J.

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Westheimer, G.

G. Westheimer, “Spatial interaction in human cone vision,” J. Physiol. (London) 190, 139–154 (1967).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (3)

J. Physiol. (London) (1)

G. Westheimer, “Spatial interaction in human cone vision,” J. Physiol. (London) 190, 139–154 (1967).

Photogr. Sci. Eng. (2)

J. J. McCann, “Visibility of gradients and low spatial frequency sinusoids: evidence for a distance constancy mechanism,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 64–68 (1978).

R. L. Savoy, “Low spatial frequencies and low number of cycles at low luminances,” Photogr. Sci. Eng. 22, 76–79 (1978).

Proc. R. Soc. (Lond) B (1)

B. H. Crawford, “The effect of field size and pattern on the change of visual sensitivity with time,” Proc. R. Soc. (Lond) B 129, 94–106 (1940).
[Crossref]

Vision Res. (4)

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, and J. A. Hall, “Visibility of low-frequency sine-wave targets: dependence on number of cycles and surround parameters,” Vision Res. 18, 891–894 (1978).
[Crossref]

J. Hoekstra, D. P. J. van der Goot, G. van den Brink, and F. A. Bilsen, “The influence of number of cycles upon the visual contrast threshold for spatial sine patterns,” Vision Res. 14, 365–368 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

O. Estevez and C. R. Cavonius, “Attenuation in detection of gratings: sorting out the artefacts,” Vision Res. 16, 497–500 (1976).
[Crossref]

J. J. McCann, R. L. Savoy, J. A. Hall, and J. J. Scarpetti, “Visibility of continuous luminance gradients,” Vision Res. 14, 917–927 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (2)

R. Cohen, C. R. Carlson, and G. Cody, “Image descriptors for displays,” ONR Tech. Report, Contract No. N00014-74-C-0184 (1976).

The Fourier spectra of these targets cannot be inferred from the nominal spatial frequencies of the sinusoid-wave portions. The Fourier spectra of such targets with a black surround are dominated by the black-to-average-luminance edge. For a discussion of this problem see R. L. Savoy, “Visibility of low-spatial frequency targets: Dependence on number of cycles and implications for spatial frequency channels,” M. S. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ref. 6.

Cited By

OSA participates in Crossref's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (14)

FIG. 1
FIG. 1

Diagram of a cathode-ray-tube display (top half of figure). The positions of limits A through F are set by binary encoded line-counting switches, while the limits G through L are set by adjustable timing controls. The bottom half of the figure is a graph of a horizontal luminance trace through the center of this display. The graph is for the case of a target in which the luminance of zone 1 is 0, zone 2 is set to the average luminance, and zone 3 is a one-cycle sinusoid wave.

FIG. 2
FIG. 2

Variation of the width of one-cycle sine-wave targets with a black surround. Except for a small increase in contrast sensitivity with the narrowest target, changing width and hence changing nominal spatial frequency by a factor of 16 has little effect on contrast sensitivity.

FIG. 3
FIG. 3

Variation of the height of one-cycle sine-wave targets. Despite changes in height by a factor of 10, observers show very little change in contrast sensitivity.

FIG. 4
FIG. 4

Variation of both the height and width of one-cycle sine-wave targets. Contrast sensitivity remained essentially constant despite a 16 to 1 change in linear dimension and a 256 to 1 change in area. Nearly identical results were obtained both with and without a 2.5-mm artificial pupil.

FIG. 5
FIG. 5

Variation of the width of one average-luminance flank adjacent to a 12 × 1.25 deg one-cycle sinusoid. The presence of a 9.4-deg average-luminance flank increases the observer’s sensitivity to a one-cycle sinusoid two-and-one-half times.

FIG. 6
FIG. 6

Variation of the width of average-luminance flanks on both sides of a 12 × 1.25 deg one-cycle sine-wave target. Two 9.4-deg average-luminance flanks increase the observer’s sensitivity to the sine wave by 4 times. Nearly identical results were obtained with and without a 2.5-mm artificial pupil.

FIG. 7
FIG. 7

Variation of the width of an average-luminance surround on all four sides of a 1.25-deg square sine-wave target. Here again, increasing the amount of average-luminance surround increased sensitivity to the sine-wave portion of the target.

FIG. 8
FIG. 8

Contrast sensitivity data for observer JAH from Figs. 5 and 7 plotted against the width of the average-luminance area. The ×’s are data from experiments with one flank, ○’s for two flanks, and Δ’s for all four sides.

FIG. 9
FIG. 9

Variation of the height of average-luminance areas above and below the sinusoid. The results show no significant change of contrast sensitivity.

FIG. 10
FIG. 10

Variation of both the sine and flank widths. Symbols to identify different sine-width data are ×, ○, Δ, and □, which represent 0.63, 1.25, 2.5, and 5.0-deg sine widths. The contrast sensitivity of four sets of sine widths is plotted as a function of flank width. The four distinct curves, one for each sine width, show that the effect of flank width varies with sine width. Each curve is displaced along the horizontal axis by roughly a factor of 2. The observers are JMC and JAH.

FIG. 11
FIG. 11

Replot of the contrast-sensitivity data for observers JMC and JAH presented in Fig. 10 using flank width/sine width as the horizontal axis. This expression, which changes by a factor of 2 when the sine width is doubled, normalizes the variable effects of flank width on different sine-width targets. Different sine-width data are represented by the symbols × (0.63 deg), ○ (1.25 deg), Δ (2.5 deg), and □ (5.0 deg). Since all the targets replotted here have only one cycle of sinusoid, the expression flank width/sine width is equivalent to expressing flank width in terms of the number of cycles.

FIG. 12
FIG. 12

Plot of the contrast sensitivity versus NF (number of cycles of flank) for targets that have one or more sinusoid cycles, as well as variable sine and flank widths. The symbols ×, Δ, ○, ●, and □ represent targets containing NS of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 cycles. This figure allows us to study the contribution of the number of cycles of sine relative to the number of cycles of average-luminance flank. As we saw in Fig. 11, plotting these results as a function of NF normalizes the effects of variable width of flanks. The fact that the contrast sensitivity is greater with higher number of cycles of sinusoid shows that both NS and NF affect contrast sensitivity. The observers were JAH and RLS.

FIG. 13
FIG. 13

Data from 45 experiments with different flank widths and sine widths and number of cycles of sinusoid. The results of Fig. 12 have shown that both NS (number of cycles of sinusoid) and NF (number of cycles of flank) independently affect contrast sensitivity. This graph plots contrast sensitivity versus the sum NS + NF. The Fig. 11 data, which represent all the experiments with one-cycle sinusoids, are plotted here inside open squares. Figure 12 data, which represent all the higher numbers of cycles of sinusoid experiments, are plotted here inside open circumscribing circles. Sinusoids on a black background are plotted with the symbol ●. The no-flank data and data from average-luminance flank targets with an NF less than or equal to 1.0 coincide. For values of NF greater than 1.0, the sum of sinusoid and flank cycles no longer provides a unique description of the contrast sensitivity. The solid lines identify data from targets with constant numbers of sinusoid cycles.

FIG. 14
FIG. 14

Data from Fig. 13 replotted with a different horizontal axis. Here we replace NF (number of cycles of flank) with (NF)p. The data in Fig. 13 showed that when NF is small, namely, less than 1.0, increases in NF have the same effect as increases in NS (number of cycles of sinusoid). For this reason, we set p = 1.0 when NF was less than or equal to 1.0. For values of NF greater than 1.0, the effect of increasing NF is less than increasing NS by the same amount. Numerous experiments have shown that the slope of the log-contrast-sensitivity curve versus log NS is always close to 1.0 in the low-spatial-frequency region.1 The data in Fig. 8 show that the effect of increasing NF, which in this case is proportional to flank width, is much less than a slope of 1.0. In fact, the slope is approximately 0.3. For this reason, for values greater than 1.0, we set p = 0.3. The data from all 45 targets form a single curve which can be used as an empirical description of any low-number-of-cycle target with average-luminance flanks.