Abstract

Contrast sensitivity under photopic conditions declines with age; however, the cause of this decline remains unknown. To address this issue, we measured detection thresholds for sine wave gratings in noise, under various conditions of spatial-frequency uncertainty, and estimated observers’ internal noise and calculation efficiency. Statistical analyses revealed that efficiencies were lower for old (median age at 68 years) than for young (median age at 22 years) observers; no significant differences in internal noise were found. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that reduced retinal illuminance causes the decline in efficiency with age. Our results demonstrate that age-related neural changes play a major role in the decline in contrast sensitivity with age. Possible contributing mechanisms are considered.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
Related Articles
Characterizing human perceptual inefficiencies with equivalent internal noise

Zhong-Lin Lu and Barbara Anne Dosher
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16(3) 764-778 (1999)

Contrast sensitivity and disability glare in the middle years

Joseph M. Harrison, J. Terry Yates, Charles Ballentine, and Raymond A. Applegate
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 10(8) 1849-1855 (1993)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription