Abstract

Foveal flicker contrast sensitivity was measured for healthy adults at temporal frequencies from 2.5 to 50 Hz. The first experiment compared two-interval forced-choice (2IFC) and yes-no detection (Y–N) testing procedures for younger (19–33-year-old) and older (67–73-year-old) observers. The 2IFC technique resulted in higher absolute estimates of sensitivity. However, within a method, relative differences were similar. Therefore the two methods gave similar estimates of temporal contrast-sensitivity change with age. Experiment 2 compared 89 observers from 18 through 77 years of age to explore the effect of the time course of aging on flicker sensitivity. The 2IFC procedure was used, and retinal illuminance changes with age were controlled. Significant overall losses in contrast sensitivity were found for the 45–54, 55–64, and 65–77-year-old age groups. Overall sensitivities for the 35–44-year-old group were comparable with or (not significantly) higher than those for the 18–24- and 25–34-year-old groups. The results suggested that (1) foveal temporal contrast sensitivity does not decline until after 44 years, (2) losses after 44 years are in amplitude but not in temporal resolution of the visual response, and (3) the mean rate of loss is ∼0.78 decilog per decade after 44 years. These results are consistent with the existence of three phases of development of temporal contrast sensitivity over the life span. The results also emphasize the importance of including healthy-eyed age-matched controls in studies of flicker sensitivity in visual dysfunctions that affect mainly older adults.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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  1. M. J. Mayer, C. B. Y. Kim, A. Svingos, A. Glucs, “Foveal flicker sensitivity in healthy aging eyes. I. Compensating for pupil variation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 2201–2209 (1988).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  2. C. E. Wright, N. Drasdo, “The influence of age on the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity function,” Doc. Ophthalmol. 59, 385–395 (1985).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  3. C. W. Tyler, “Two processes control variations in flicker sensitivity over the life span,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 481–490 (1989).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  4. J. Botwinick, “Cautiousness in advanced age,” J. Gerontol. 21, 347–353 (1966).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  5. M. A. Okun, “Adult age and cautiousness in decision,” Hum. Dev. 19, 220–233 (1976).
    [Crossref]
  6. R. A. Weale, The Aging Eye (Lewis, London, 1963).
  7. R. D. Gunkel, P. Gouras, “Changes in scotopic visibility thresholds with age,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 69, 4–9 (1963).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  8. D. V. Norren, J. J. Vos, “Spectral transmission of the human ocular media,” Vision Res. 14, 1237–1244 (1974).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  9. J. Sigelman, S. L. Trokel, A. Spector, “Quantitative biomicroscopy of lens light back scatter,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 92, 437–442 (1974).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. A. Spector, S. Li, J. Sigelman, “Age-dependent changes in the molecular size of human lens proteins and their relationship to light scatter,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 13, 795–798 (1974).
    [PubMed]
  11. R. P. Hemenger, “Intraocular light scatter in normal vision loss with age,” Appl. Opt. 23, 1972–1974 (1984).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  12. M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
    [PubMed]
  13. The nondominant eye was used for testing only if it was determined to be the better eye on preliminary screening for acuity.
  14. C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of visual modulation sensitivity. II. Peripheral retina and the role of photoreceptor dimensions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 393–398 (1985).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  15. The criteria that we used when deleting data from testing runs were as follows: (1) if the number of trials per test frequency was >30 and (2) if the threshold difference between runs (in decilogs) was ≥5. The use of these criteria resulted in the deletion of 27 out of 1958 (1.38%) threshold estimates, 16 from the first run of testing and 11 from the second run. The use of the first criterion alone resulted in the deletion of 7 out of 1958 (0.36%) threshold estimates for 45 and 50 Hz. There was no differential elimination as a function of either flicker rate or age.
  16. M. Ikeda, “Temporal impulse response,” Vision Res. 26, 1431–1440 (1986).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  17. M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).
  18. D. G. Stork, D. S. Falk, “Temporal impulse responses from flicker sensitivities,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1130–1135 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  19. W. H. Swanson, T. Ueno, V. C. Smith, J. Pokorny, “Temporal modulation sensitivity and pulse-detection thresholds for chromatic and luminance perturbations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1992–2005 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  20. Refer to Ref. 19 for details. We used parameters that derived the impulse-response function in 10-ms steps. Sensitivity at 0.5 Hz was set to 10%, and the CSF was fitted with a linear interpolation to the measured 2.5-Hz sensitivity. At the high-frequency end, 12 points from 50.1 to 51.2 Hz were extrapolated from the measured sensitivities at 45 and 50 Hz. A simplex algorithm fitted the rest of the curve.
  21. D. H. Kelly, R. E. Savoie, “A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods,” Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).
    [Crossref]
  22. J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, T. G. Birdsall, “Decision processes in perception,” Psychol. Rev. 68, 301–340 (1961).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  23. C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of normal flicker sensitivity and its variability in the visuogram test,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 32, 2552–2560 (1991).
    [PubMed]
  24. H. R. Blackwell, “Neural theories of simple visual discriminations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 129–160 (1963).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  25. C. B. Y. Kim, M. J. Mayer, S. Spiegler, “Sensitivity and temporal losses in older observers for foveal flicker detection,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 30, 313 (1989).
  26. C. W. Tyler, “Specific deficits of flicker sensitivity in glaucoma and ocular hypertension,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 20, 204–212 (1981).
    [PubMed]
  27. We used parameters that derived the digital impulse-response function in 10-ms steps. However, we reasoned that there may be substantial distortion of the peak-time parameters with such coarse sampling, especially for the first and second lobes. To account for the coarse sampling, we redetermined peak-time parameters for the first and second lobes with an algorithm that calculated the intersection point of the straight lines delineating the rising and falling segments of each of the lobes. (We assumed that the lobes of the impulse-response function are symmetric about the peak-time values.) The abscissa value at which the lines intersected was accepted as the recalculated peak-time parameter.
  28. W. Wesemann, “Incoherent image formation in the presence of scattering eye media,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1439–1447 (1987).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  29. M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).
  30. M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).
  31. C. W. Tyler, W. Ernst, L. Lyness, “Photopic flicker sensitivity losses in simplex and multiplex retinitis pigmentosa,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 1035–1042 (1984).
    [PubMed]
  32. C. W. Tyler, S. Ryu, R. Stamper, “The relation between visual sensitivity and intraocular pressure in normal eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 103–105 (1984).
    [PubMed]
  33. M. B. Mandler, W. Makous, “A three channel model of temporal frequency perception,” Vision Res. 24, 1881–1887 (1984).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  34. R. F. Hess, R. J. Snowden, “Temporal properties of human visual filters: number, shapes and spatial covariation,” Vision Res. 32, 47–59 (1992).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]

1994 (1)

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

1992 (4)

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

R. F. Hess, R. J. Snowden, “Temporal properties of human visual filters: number, shapes and spatial covariation,” Vision Res. 32, 47–59 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1991 (1)

C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of normal flicker sensitivity and its variability in the visuogram test,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 32, 2552–2560 (1991).
[PubMed]

1989 (2)

C. B. Y. Kim, M. J. Mayer, S. Spiegler, “Sensitivity and temporal losses in older observers for foveal flicker detection,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 30, 313 (1989).

C. W. Tyler, “Two processes control variations in flicker sensitivity over the life span,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 481–490 (1989).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1988 (1)

1987 (3)

1986 (1)

M. Ikeda, “Temporal impulse response,” Vision Res. 26, 1431–1440 (1986).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1985 (2)

C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of visual modulation sensitivity. II. Peripheral retina and the role of photoreceptor dimensions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 393–398 (1985).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. E. Wright, N. Drasdo, “The influence of age on the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity function,” Doc. Ophthalmol. 59, 385–395 (1985).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1984 (4)

R. P. Hemenger, “Intraocular light scatter in normal vision loss with age,” Appl. Opt. 23, 1972–1974 (1984).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, W. Ernst, L. Lyness, “Photopic flicker sensitivity losses in simplex and multiplex retinitis pigmentosa,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 1035–1042 (1984).
[PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, S. Ryu, R. Stamper, “The relation between visual sensitivity and intraocular pressure in normal eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 103–105 (1984).
[PubMed]

M. B. Mandler, W. Makous, “A three channel model of temporal frequency perception,” Vision Res. 24, 1881–1887 (1984).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1981 (1)

C. W. Tyler, “Specific deficits of flicker sensitivity in glaucoma and ocular hypertension,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 20, 204–212 (1981).
[PubMed]

1976 (1)

M. A. Okun, “Adult age and cautiousness in decision,” Hum. Dev. 19, 220–233 (1976).
[Crossref]

1974 (3)

D. V. Norren, J. J. Vos, “Spectral transmission of the human ocular media,” Vision Res. 14, 1237–1244 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Sigelman, S. L. Trokel, A. Spector, “Quantitative biomicroscopy of lens light back scatter,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 92, 437–442 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. Spector, S. Li, J. Sigelman, “Age-dependent changes in the molecular size of human lens proteins and their relationship to light scatter,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 13, 795–798 (1974).
[PubMed]

1973 (1)

D. H. Kelly, R. E. Savoie, “A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods,” Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).
[Crossref]

1966 (1)

J. Botwinick, “Cautiousness in advanced age,” J. Gerontol. 21, 347–353 (1966).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1963 (2)

R. D. Gunkel, P. Gouras, “Changes in scotopic visibility thresholds with age,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 69, 4–9 (1963).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

H. R. Blackwell, “Neural theories of simple visual discriminations,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 129–160 (1963).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1961 (1)

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, T. G. Birdsall, “Decision processes in perception,” Psychol. Rev. 68, 301–340 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Birdsall, T. G.

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, T. G. Birdsall, “Decision processes in perception,” Psychol. Rev. 68, 301–340 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Blackwell, H. R.

Botwinick, J.

J. Botwinick, “Cautiousness in advanced age,” J. Gerontol. 21, 347–353 (1966).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Dougherty, R. F.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

Drasdo, N.

C. E. Wright, N. Drasdo, “The influence of age on the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity function,” Doc. Ophthalmol. 59, 385–395 (1985).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Ernst, W.

C. W. Tyler, W. Ernst, L. Lyness, “Photopic flicker sensitivity losses in simplex and multiplex retinitis pigmentosa,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 1035–1042 (1984).
[PubMed]

Falk, D. S.

Glucs, A.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, C. B. Y. Kim, A. Svingos, A. Glucs, “Foveal flicker sensitivity in healthy aging eyes. I. Compensating for pupil variation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 2201–2209 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Gouras, P.

R. D. Gunkel, P. Gouras, “Changes in scotopic visibility thresholds with age,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 69, 4–9 (1963).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Gunkel, R. D.

R. D. Gunkel, P. Gouras, “Changes in scotopic visibility thresholds with age,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 69, 4–9 (1963).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hemenger, R. P.

Hess, R. F.

R. F. Hess, R. J. Snowden, “Temporal properties of human visual filters: number, shapes and spatial covariation,” Vision Res. 32, 47–59 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Ikeda, M.

M. Ikeda, “Temporal impulse response,” Vision Res. 26, 1431–1440 (1986).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Kelly, D. H.

D. H. Kelly, R. E. Savoie, “A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods,” Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).
[Crossref]

Kim, C. B. Y.

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

C. B. Y. Kim, M. J. Mayer, S. Spiegler, “Sensitivity and temporal losses in older observers for foveal flicker detection,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 30, 313 (1989).

M. J. Mayer, C. B. Y. Kim, A. Svingos, A. Glucs, “Foveal flicker sensitivity in healthy aging eyes. I. Compensating for pupil variation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 2201–2209 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Klein, R.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

Li, S.

A. Spector, S. Li, J. Sigelman, “Age-dependent changes in the molecular size of human lens proteins and their relationship to light scatter,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 13, 795–798 (1974).
[PubMed]

Lyness, L.

C. W. Tyler, W. Ernst, L. Lyness, “Photopic flicker sensitivity losses in simplex and multiplex retinitis pigmentosa,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 1035–1042 (1984).
[PubMed]

Makous, W.

M. B. Mandler, W. Makous, “A three channel model of temporal frequency perception,” Vision Res. 24, 1881–1887 (1984).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Mandler, M. B.

M. B. Mandler, W. Makous, “A three channel model of temporal frequency perception,” Vision Res. 24, 1881–1887 (1984).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Mayer, M. J.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

C. B. Y. Kim, M. J. Mayer, S. Spiegler, “Sensitivity and temporal losses in older observers for foveal flicker detection,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 30, 313 (1989).

M. J. Mayer, C. B. Y. Kim, A. Svingos, A. Glucs, “Foveal flicker sensitivity in healthy aging eyes. I. Compensating for pupil variation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 2201–2209 (1988).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Norren, D. V.

D. V. Norren, J. J. Vos, “Spectral transmission of the human ocular media,” Vision Res. 14, 1237–1244 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Okun, M. A.

M. A. Okun, “Adult age and cautiousness in decision,” Hum. Dev. 19, 220–233 (1976).
[Crossref]

Pokorny, J.

Ryu, S.

C. W. Tyler, S. Ryu, R. Stamper, “The relation between visual sensitivity and intraocular pressure in normal eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 103–105 (1984).
[PubMed]

Savoie, R. E.

D. H. Kelly, R. E. Savoie, “A study of sine-wave contrast sensitivity by two psychophysical methods,” Percept. Psychophys. 14, 313–318 (1973).
[Crossref]

Sigelman, J.

J. Sigelman, S. L. Trokel, A. Spector, “Quantitative biomicroscopy of lens light back scatter,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 92, 437–442 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. Spector, S. Li, J. Sigelman, “Age-dependent changes in the molecular size of human lens proteins and their relationship to light scatter,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 13, 795–798 (1974).
[PubMed]

Smith, V. C.

Snowden, R. J.

R. F. Hess, R. J. Snowden, “Temporal properties of human visual filters: number, shapes and spatial covariation,” Vision Res. 32, 47–59 (1992).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Spector, A.

J. Sigelman, S. L. Trokel, A. Spector, “Quantitative biomicroscopy of lens light back scatter,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 92, 437–442 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. Spector, S. Li, J. Sigelman, “Age-dependent changes in the molecular size of human lens proteins and their relationship to light scatter,” Invest. Ophthalmol. 13, 795–798 (1974).
[PubMed]

Spiegler, S.

C. B. Y. Kim, M. J. Mayer, S. Spiegler, “Sensitivity and temporal losses in older observers for foveal flicker detection,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 30, 313 (1989).

Spiegler, S. J.

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

Stamper, R.

C. W. Tyler, S. Ryu, R. Stamper, “The relation between visual sensitivity and intraocular pressure in normal eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 103–105 (1984).
[PubMed]

Stork, D. G.

Svingos, A.

Swanson, W. H.

Swets, J. A.

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, T. G. Birdsall, “Decision processes in perception,” Psychol. Rev. 68, 301–340 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Talcott, J. B.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

Tanner, W. P.

J. A. Swets, W. P. Tanner, T. G. Birdsall, “Decision processes in perception,” Psychol. Rev. 68, 301–340 (1961).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Trokel, S. L.

J. Sigelman, S. L. Trokel, A. Spector, “Quantitative biomicroscopy of lens light back scatter,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 92, 437–442 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Tyler, C. W.

C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of normal flicker sensitivity and its variability in the visuogram test,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 32, 2552–2560 (1991).
[PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, “Two processes control variations in flicker sensitivity over the life span,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 6, 481–490 (1989).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, “Analysis of visual modulation sensitivity. II. Peripheral retina and the role of photoreceptor dimensions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 393–398 (1985).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, S. Ryu, R. Stamper, “The relation between visual sensitivity and intraocular pressure in normal eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 103–105 (1984).
[PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, W. Ernst, L. Lyness, “Photopic flicker sensitivity losses in simplex and multiplex retinitis pigmentosa,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 1035–1042 (1984).
[PubMed]

C. W. Tyler, “Specific deficits of flicker sensitivity in glaucoma and ocular hypertension,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 20, 204–212 (1981).
[PubMed]

Ueno, T.

Vos, J. J.

D. V. Norren, J. J. Vos, “Spectral transmission of the human ocular media,” Vision Res. 14, 1237–1244 (1974).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Ward, B.

M. J. Mayer, B. Ward, R. Klein, J. B. Talcott, R. F. Dougherty, A. Glucs, “Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 35, 1138–1149 (1994).
[PubMed]

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Foveal flicker sensitivity discriminates ARM-risk from healthy eyes,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 133–139 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Mid-frequency loss of foveal flicker sensitivity in early stages of age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 126–132 (1992).

M. J. Mayer, S. J. Spiegler, B. Ward, A. Glucs, C. B. Y. Kim, “Preliminary evaluation of flicker sensitivity as a predictive test for exudative age-related maculopathy,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 33, 140–145 (1992).

Weale, R. A.

R. A. Weale, The Aging Eye (Lewis, London, 1963).

Wesemann, W.

Wright, C. E.

C. E. Wright, N. Drasdo, “The influence of age on the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity function,” Doc. Ophthalmol. 59, 385–395 (1985).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Appl. Opt. (1)

Arch. Ophthalmol. (2)

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Other (5)

We used parameters that derived the digital impulse-response function in 10-ms steps. However, we reasoned that there may be substantial distortion of the peak-time parameters with such coarse sampling, especially for the first and second lobes. To account for the coarse sampling, we redetermined peak-time parameters for the first and second lobes with an algorithm that calculated the intersection point of the straight lines delineating the rising and falling segments of each of the lobes. (We assumed that the lobes of the impulse-response function are symmetric about the peak-time values.) The abscissa value at which the lines intersected was accepted as the recalculated peak-time parameter.

R. A. Weale, The Aging Eye (Lewis, London, 1963).

The nondominant eye was used for testing only if it was determined to be the better eye on preliminary screening for acuity.

The criteria that we used when deleting data from testing runs were as follows: (1) if the number of trials per test frequency was >30 and (2) if the threshold difference between runs (in decilogs) was ≥5. The use of these criteria resulted in the deletion of 27 out of 1958 (1.38%) threshold estimates, 16 from the first run of testing and 11 from the second run. The use of the first criterion alone resulted in the deletion of 7 out of 1958 (0.36%) threshold estimates for 45 and 50 Hz. There was no differential elimination as a function of either flicker rate or age.

Refer to Ref. 19 for details. We used parameters that derived the impulse-response function in 10-ms steps. Sensitivity at 0.5 Hz was set to 10%, and the CSF was fitted with a linear interpolation to the measured 2.5-Hz sensitivity. At the high-frequency end, 12 points from 50.1 to 51.2 Hz were extrapolated from the measured sensitivities at 45 and 50 Hz. A simplex algorithm fitted the rest of the curve.

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Average temporal contrast-sensitivity functions for the Y–N and 2IFC testing paradigms. Error bars represent ±1 standard error of the mean.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Scatter plot relating contrast sensitivity (in decilogs) to retinal illuminance (in trolands) with its best-fitting second-order polynomial function. The ±1-SD limits of the fit are represented by the dashed curves.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Scatter plot relating pupil area (in square millimeters) to age (in years) for all observers. The best-fitting linear regression for the data also is plotted; its equation is shown in the upper-right corner.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Mean actual (squares, solid curves) and mean predicted (circles, dashed curves) temporal contrast-sensitivity functions for each age group. Predicted contrast-sensitivity values were derived from retinal-illuminance-matched younger observers. Error bars represent ±1 standard error of the mean. Bold curves depict data for temporal frequencies with contrast sensitivities greater than 5.0 decilogs (which corresponds to a contrast modulation of ≤ 0.32); nonbold curves depict data for higher temporal frequencies with contrast sensitivities less than 5.0 decilogs.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Relative contrast sensitivity as a function of temporal frequency for the six age groups. Predicted contrast-sensitivity values were derived from retinal-illuminance-matched younger observers, whose data are represented by the horizontal line at 0.0-decilog relative sensitivity. Error bars represent ±1 standard error of the mean.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Relative contrast sensitivity as a function of age group for each of the tested temporal frequencies. Predicted contrast-sensitivity values were derived from retinal-illuminance-matched younger observers, whose data are represented by the horizontal line at 0.0-decilog relative sensitivity: a, lower frequencies, b, higher frequencies.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Mean actual and mean predicted temporal impulse-response functions for each age group, derived from the contrast-sensitivity curves in Fig. 4.

Tables (3)

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Table 1 Age and Gender Composition of Each of the Six Age Groups

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Table 2 Rate of Relative-Contrast-Sensitivity Change (Slope)a as a Function of Age Decade for Each Temporal Frequency

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Table 3 MANOVA’s for Age-Group Comparisons of Impulse-Response Functions

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