Abstract

The apparent contrasts of suprathreshold stationary gratings, countermodulated gratings, and homogeneous flickering fields were assessed with a contrast-matching procedure. Results show that, as stimulus amplitude is increased relative to threshold, variations in apparent contrast with spatiotemporal-frequency content become much less pronounced. In other words, the contrast-matching functions are more uniform across both spatial and temporal frequency at levels of contrast well above threshold. These data are interpreted in terms of a compensatory stage in the visual system that varies its gain characteristics according to the detectability of the stimulus.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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  1. O. H. Schade, "Optical and photoelectric analog of the eye," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 721–739 (1956).
  2. F. W. Campbell and D. G. Green, "Optical and retinal factors affecting visual resolution," J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576–593 (1965).
  3. J. G. Robson, "Receptive fields: neural representation of the spatial and intensive attributes of the visual image," in Handbook of Perception, Vol. 5: Seeing, E. C. Carterette and M. P. Freidman, eds. (Academic, New York, 1975).
  4. E. M. Lowry and J. J. DePalma, "Sine-wave response of the visual system. I. The Mach phenomenon," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 740–746 (1961).
  5. A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).
  6. C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).
  7. M. A. Georgeson and G. D. Sullivan, "Contrast constancy: deblurring in human vision by spatial frequency channels," J. Physiol. (London) 252, 627–656 (1975).
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  13. G. B. Wetherill and H. Levitt, "Sequential estimation of points on a psychometric function," Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 18, 1–10 (1965).
  14. The test stimulus was initially set to approximately 0.4 log contrast above the subject's estimated threshold. If the subject made two consecutive correct responses, the contrast of the stimulus was reduced in 0.12-log-unit steps. This procedure continued until the subject made an error, at which time the step size was reduced to 0.06 log unit and the contrast was increased. This error constituted the first reversal in the threshold procedure. If the subject then made two consecutive correct responses, contrast was decreased by 0.06 log unit. This procedure continued with a 0.06-log unit step size until six reversals were obtained. The contrast s!tep size was then reduced to 0.03 log unit, and the next stimulus was presented at a contrast equal to the mean of the previous six reversals. The threshold procedure continued until six additional reversals were obtained. The mean of all 12 reversals was then taken as the subject's contrast threshold. Threshold data shown in Figs. 1 and 2 are the means of three such threshold determinations.
  15. O. Franzen and M. Berkley, "Apparent contrast as a function of modulation depth and spatial frequency: a comparison between perceptual and electrophysiological measures," Vision Res. 15, 655–660 (1975).
  16. R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).
  17. A. van Meeteren, "Calculations on the optical modulation transferfunction of the human eye for white light," Opt. Acta 21, 395–412 (1974).

1979 (2)

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

J. J. Koenderink and A. J. van Doorn, "Spatiotemporal contrast detection threshold surface is bimodal," Opt. Lett. 4, 32–34 (1979).

1975 (2)

M. A. Georgeson and G. D. Sullivan, "Contrast constancy: deblurring in human vision by spatial frequency channels," J. Physiol. (London) 252, 627–656 (1975).

O. Franzen and M. Berkley, "Apparent contrast as a function of modulation depth and spatial frequency: a comparison between perceptual and electrophysiological measures," Vision Res. 15, 655–660 (1975).

1974 (1)

A. van Meeteren, "Calculations on the optical modulation transferfunction of the human eye for white light," Opt. Acta 21, 395–412 (1974).

1973 (1)

C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).

1968 (1)

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

1967 (1)

1966 (3)

1965 (2)

F. W. Campbell and D. G. Green, "Optical and retinal factors affecting visual resolution," J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576–593 (1965).

G. B. Wetherill and H. Levitt, "Sequential estimation of points on a psychometric function," Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 18, 1–10 (1965).

1961 (1)

1956 (1)

Berkley, M.

O. Franzen and M. Berkley, "Apparent contrast as a function of modulation depth and spatial frequency: a comparison between perceptual and electrophysiological measures," Vision Res. 15, 655–660 (1975).

Blakemore, C. B.

C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).

Bryngdahl, O.

Campbell, F. W.

F. W. Campbell and D. G. Green, "Optical and retinal factors affecting visual resolution," J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576–593 (1965).

DePalma, J. J.

Dvorak, C. A.

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

Franzen, O.

O. Franzen and M. Berkley, "Apparent contrast as a function of modulation depth and spatial frequency: a comparison between perceptual and electrophysiological measures," Vision Res. 15, 655–660 (1975).

Georgeson, M. A.

M. A. Georgeson and G. D. Sullivan, "Contrast constancy: deblurring in human vision by spatial frequency channels," J. Physiol. (London) 252, 627–656 (1975).

Green, D. G.

F. W. Campbell and D. G. Green, "Optical and retinal factors affecting visual resolution," J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576–593 (1965).

Hamerly, J. R.

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

Hiwatashi, K.

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

Kelly, D. H.

Koenderink, J. J.

Levitt, H.

G. B. Wetherill and H. Levitt, "Sequential estimation of points on a psychometric function," Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 18, 1–10 (1965).

Lowry, E. M.

Madden, B. C.

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

Mori, T.

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

Muncey, J. P. J.

C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).

Nachmias, J.

Nagata, S.

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

Ridley, R. M.

C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).

Robson, J. G.

J. G. Robson, "Spatial and temporal contrast-sensitivity functions of the visual system," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1141–1142 (1966).

J. G. Robson, "Receptive fields: neural representation of the spatial and intensive attributes of the visual image," in Handbook of Perception, Vol. 5: Seeing, E. C. Carterette and M. P. Freidman, eds. (Academic, New York, 1975).

Schade, O. H.

Springer, R. M.

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

Sullivan, G. D.

M. A. Georgeson and G. D. Sullivan, "Contrast constancy: deblurring in human vision by spatial frequency channels," J. Physiol. (London) 252, 627–656 (1975).

van Doorn, A. J.

van Meeteren, A.

A. van Meeteren, "Calculations on the optical modulation transferfunction of the human eye for white light," Opt. Acta 21, 395–412 (1974).

Watanabe, A.

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

Wetherill, G. B.

G. B. Wetherill and H. Levitt, "Sequential estimation of points on a psychometric function," Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 18, 1–10 (1965).

Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. (1)

G. B. Wetherill and H. Levitt, "Sequential estimation of points on a psychometric function," Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 18, 1–10 (1965).

Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. (1)

R. M. Springer, J. R. Hamerly, B. C. Madden, and C. A. Dvorak, "Image degradation and sharpening in the visual system," Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 18, 59 (1979).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (6)

J. Physiol. (2)

F. W. Campbell and D. G. Green, "Optical and retinal factors affecting visual resolution," J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576–593 (1965).

M. A. Georgeson and G. D. Sullivan, "Contrast constancy: deblurring in human vision by spatial frequency channels," J. Physiol. (London) 252, 627–656 (1975).

Opt. Acta (1)

A. van Meeteren, "Calculations on the optical modulation transferfunction of the human eye for white light," Opt. Acta 21, 395–412 (1974).

Opt. Lett. (1)

Vision Res. (3)

A. Watanabe, T. Mori, S. Nagata, and K. Hiwatashi, "Spatial sine-wave responses of the human visual system," Vision Res. 8, 1245–1263 (1968).

C. B. Blakemore, J. P. J. Muncey, and R. M. Ridley, "Stimulus specificity in the human visual system," Vision Res. 13, 1915–1933 (1973).

O. Franzen and M. Berkley, "Apparent contrast as a function of modulation depth and spatial frequency: a comparison between perceptual and electrophysiological measures," Vision Res. 15, 655–660 (1975).

Other (2)

The test stimulus was initially set to approximately 0.4 log contrast above the subject's estimated threshold. If the subject made two consecutive correct responses, the contrast of the stimulus was reduced in 0.12-log-unit steps. This procedure continued until the subject made an error, at which time the step size was reduced to 0.06 log unit and the contrast was increased. This error constituted the first reversal in the threshold procedure. If the subject then made two consecutive correct responses, contrast was decreased by 0.06 log unit. This procedure continued with a 0.06-log unit step size until six reversals were obtained. The contrast s!tep size was then reduced to 0.03 log unit, and the next stimulus was presented at a contrast equal to the mean of the previous six reversals. The threshold procedure continued until six additional reversals were obtained. The mean of all 12 reversals was then taken as the subject's contrast threshold. Threshold data shown in Figs. 1 and 2 are the means of three such threshold determinations.

J. G. Robson, "Receptive fields: neural representation of the spatial and intensive attributes of the visual image," in Handbook of Perception, Vol. 5: Seeing, E. C. Carterette and M. P. Freidman, eds. (Academic, New York, 1975).

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