Abstract

To determine the limits of human observers’ ability to identify visually presented American Sign Language (ASL), the contrast s and the amount of additive noise n in dynamic ASL images were varied independently. Contrast was tested over a 4:1 range; the rms signal-to-noise ratios (s/n) investigated were s/n = 1/4, 1/2, 1, and ∞ (which is used to designate the original, uncontaminated images). Fourteen deaf subjects were tested with an intelligibility test composed of 85 isolated ASL signs, each 2–3 sec in length. For these ASL signs (64 × 96 pixels, 30 frames/sec), subjects’ performance asymptotes between s/n = 0.5 and 1.0; further increases in s/n do not improve intelligibility. Intelligibility was found to depend only on s/n and not on contrast. A formulation in terms of logistic functions was proposed to derive intelligibility of ASL signs from s/n, sign familiarity, and sign difficulty. Familiarity (ignorance) is represented by additive signal-correlated noise; it represents the likelihood of a subject’s knowing a particular ASL sign, and it adds to s/n. Difficulty is represented by a multiplicative difficulty coefficient; it represents the perceptual vulnerability of an ASL sign to noise and it adds to log(s/n).

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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  1. G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  2. D. G. Pelli, Institute for Sensory Research, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244-5290 (personal communication, 1983).
  3. D. G. Pelli, L. C. Applegate, “The visual requirements of mobility,” Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 26, 57 (1985).
  4. D. Regan, D. Neima, “Low-contrast letter charts as a test of visual function,” Ophthalmology 90, 1192–1200 (1983).
    [PubMed]
  5. A. P. Ginsburg, “Visual information processing based on spatial filters constrained by biological data,” Vols. 1 and 2 of doctoral dissertation (Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1978); also in (Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1978).
  6. A. P. Ginsburg, “Specifying relevant spatial information for image evaluation and display designs: an explanation of how we see certain objects,” Proc. Soc. Inf. Disp. 21, 219–227 (1980).
  7. G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  8. G. S. Rubin, K. Siegel, “Recognition of low-pass filtered faces and letters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 71 (1984).
  9. J. F. Abramatic, P. Letellier, M. Nadler, “A narrow-band video communication system for the transmission of sign language over ordinary telephone lines,” in Image Sequence Processing and Dynamic Scene Analysis, T. S. Huang, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 314–336.
    [CrossRef]
  10. D. E. Pearson, “Visual communication systems for the deaf,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1986–1992 (1981).
    [CrossRef]
  11. D. E. Pearson, “Evaluation of feature-extracted images for deaf communication,” Electron. Lett. 19, 629–631 (1983).
    [CrossRef]
  12. D. E. Pearson, H. Six, “Low data-rate moving-image transmission for deaf communication, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Image Processing (Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, 1982), pp. 204–208.
  13. G. Sperling, “Bandwidth requirements for video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling,” Science 210, 797–799 (1980).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. G. Sperling, “Video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling: present and projected bandwidth requirements,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1993–2002 (1981).
    [CrossRef]
  15. G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
    [CrossRef]
  16. G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  17. A. E. Burgess, “Visual signal detection. III. On Bayesian use of prior knowledge and cross correlation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1498–1507 (1985).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. U. Bellugi, S. Fischer, “A comparison of sign language and spoken language,” Cognition 1, 173–200 (1972).
    [CrossRef]
  20. J. E. Hawkins, S. S. Stevens, “The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 6–13 (1950).
    [CrossRef]
  21. H. Poizner, H. Lane, “Discrimination of location in American sign language,” in Understanding Language through Sign Language, P. Siple, ed. (Academic, New York, 1978), pp. 271–287.
  22. C. E. Shannon, W. Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (U. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Ill., 1949).
  23. D. M. Green, J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (Wiley, New York, 1966).
  24. E. H. Weber, De Pulsu, Resorptione, Auditu, et Tactu (Koehler, Leipzig, 1834).
  25. R. S. Woodworth, H. Schlosberg, Experimental Psychology (Holt, New York, 1954).
  26. D. G. Pelli, “Effects of visual noise,” doctoral dissertation (Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1980).
  27. M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
    [CrossRef]
  28. M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
    [CrossRef]
  29. Y. Cohen, “Measurement of video noise,” Tech. Rep. (Human Information Processing Laboratory, New York University, New York, 1982).
  30. I. Pollack, “Message uncertainty and message reception,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 1500–1508 (1959).
    [CrossRef]
  31. D. G. Pelli, “The spatiotemporal spectrum of the equivalent noise of human vision,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 24, 46 (1983).
  32. T. R. Riedl, “Spatial frequency selectivity and higher level human information processing,” doctoral dissertation (Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, 1985).

1985 (5)

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

D. G. Pelli, L. C. Applegate, “The visual requirements of mobility,” Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 26, 57 (1985).

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

A. E. Burgess, “Visual signal detection. III. On Bayesian use of prior knowledge and cross correlation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1498–1507 (1985).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1984 (3)

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
[CrossRef]

G. S. Rubin, K. Siegel, “Recognition of low-pass filtered faces and letters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 71 (1984).

1983 (3)

D. E. Pearson, “Evaluation of feature-extracted images for deaf communication,” Electron. Lett. 19, 629–631 (1983).
[CrossRef]

D. Regan, D. Neima, “Low-contrast letter charts as a test of visual function,” Ophthalmology 90, 1192–1200 (1983).
[PubMed]

D. G. Pelli, “The spatiotemporal spectrum of the equivalent noise of human vision,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 24, 46 (1983).

1981 (3)

G. Sperling, “Video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling: present and projected bandwidth requirements,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1993–2002 (1981).
[CrossRef]

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. E. Pearson, “Visual communication systems for the deaf,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1986–1992 (1981).
[CrossRef]

1980 (2)

G. Sperling, “Bandwidth requirements for video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling,” Science 210, 797–799 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. P. Ginsburg, “Specifying relevant spatial information for image evaluation and display designs: an explanation of how we see certain objects,” Proc. Soc. Inf. Disp. 21, 219–227 (1980).

1972 (1)

U. Bellugi, S. Fischer, “A comparison of sign language and spoken language,” Cognition 1, 173–200 (1972).
[CrossRef]

1959 (1)

I. Pollack, “Message uncertainty and message reception,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 1500–1508 (1959).
[CrossRef]

1950 (1)

J. E. Hawkins, S. S. Stevens, “The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 6–13 (1950).
[CrossRef]

Abramatic, J. F.

J. F. Abramatic, P. Letellier, M. Nadler, “A narrow-band video communication system for the transmission of sign language over ordinary telephone lines,” in Image Sequence Processing and Dynamic Scene Analysis, T. S. Huang, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 314–336.
[CrossRef]

Applegate, L. C.

D. G. Pelli, L. C. Applegate, “The visual requirements of mobility,” Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 26, 57 (1985).

Barlow, H. B.

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bellugi, U.

U. Bellugi, S. Fischer, “A comparison of sign language and spoken language,” Cognition 1, 173–200 (1972).
[CrossRef]

Burgess, A. E.

A. E. Burgess, “Visual signal detection. III. On Bayesian use of prior knowledge and cross correlation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1498–1507 (1985).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cohen, Y.

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Y. Cohen, “Measurement of video noise,” Tech. Rep. (Human Information Processing Laboratory, New York University, New York, 1982).

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

Fischer, S.

U. Bellugi, S. Fischer, “A comparison of sign language and spoken language,” Cognition 1, 173–200 (1972).
[CrossRef]

Ginsburg, A. P.

A. P. Ginsburg, “Specifying relevant spatial information for image evaluation and display designs: an explanation of how we see certain objects,” Proc. Soc. Inf. Disp. 21, 219–227 (1980).

A. P. Ginsburg, “Visual information processing based on spatial filters constrained by biological data,” Vols. 1 and 2 of doctoral dissertation (Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1978); also in (Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1978).

Green, D. M.

D. M. Green, J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (Wiley, New York, 1966).

Hawkins, J. E.

J. E. Hawkins, S. S. Stevens, “The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 6–13 (1950).
[CrossRef]

Jennings, R. J.

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Landy, M. S.

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

Lane, H.

H. Poizner, H. Lane, “Discrimination of location in American sign language,” in Understanding Language through Sign Language, P. Siple, ed. (Academic, New York, 1978), pp. 271–287.

Legge, G. E.

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Letellier, P.

J. F. Abramatic, P. Letellier, M. Nadler, “A narrow-band video communication system for the transmission of sign language over ordinary telephone lines,” in Image Sequence Processing and Dynamic Scene Analysis, T. S. Huang, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 314–336.
[CrossRef]

Nadler, M.

J. F. Abramatic, P. Letellier, M. Nadler, “A narrow-band video communication system for the transmission of sign language over ordinary telephone lines,” in Image Sequence Processing and Dynamic Scene Analysis, T. S. Huang, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 314–336.
[CrossRef]

Neima, D.

D. Regan, D. Neima, “Low-contrast letter charts as a test of visual function,” Ophthalmology 90, 1192–1200 (1983).
[PubMed]

Pavel, M.

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

Pearson, D. E.

D. E. Pearson, “Evaluation of feature-extracted images for deaf communication,” Electron. Lett. 19, 629–631 (1983).
[CrossRef]

D. E. Pearson, “Visual communication systems for the deaf,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1986–1992 (1981).
[CrossRef]

D. E. Pearson, H. Six, “Low data-rate moving-image transmission for deaf communication, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Image Processing (Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, 1982), pp. 204–208.

Pelli, D. G.

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

D. G. Pelli, L. C. Applegate, “The visual requirements of mobility,” Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 26, 57 (1985).

D. G. Pelli, “The spatiotemporal spectrum of the equivalent noise of human vision,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 24, 46 (1983).

D. G. Pelli, “Effects of visual noise,” doctoral dissertation (Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1980).

D. G. Pelli, Institute for Sensory Research, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244-5290 (personal communication, 1983).

Poizner, H.

H. Poizner, H. Lane, “Discrimination of location in American sign language,” in Understanding Language through Sign Language, P. Siple, ed. (Academic, New York, 1978), pp. 271–287.

Pollack, I.

I. Pollack, “Message uncertainty and message reception,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 1500–1508 (1959).
[CrossRef]

Regan, D.

D. Regan, D. Neima, “Low-contrast letter charts as a test of visual function,” Ophthalmology 90, 1192–1200 (1983).
[PubMed]

Riedl, T. R.

T. R. Riedl, “Spatial frequency selectivity and higher level human information processing,” doctoral dissertation (Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, 1985).

Rubin, G. S.

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. S. Rubin, K. Siegel, “Recognition of low-pass filtered faces and letters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 71 (1984).

Schleske, M. M.

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Schlosberg, H.

R. S. Woodworth, H. Schlosberg, Experimental Psychology (Holt, New York, 1954).

Schwartz, B. J.

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

Shannon, C. E.

C. E. Shannon, W. Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (U. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Ill., 1949).

Siegel, K.

G. S. Rubin, K. Siegel, “Recognition of low-pass filtered faces and letters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 71 (1984).

Six, H.

D. E. Pearson, H. Six, “Low data-rate moving-image transmission for deaf communication, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Image Processing (Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, 1982), pp. 204–208.

Sperling, G.

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
[CrossRef]

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, “Video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling: present and projected bandwidth requirements,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1993–2002 (1981).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, “Bandwidth requirements for video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling,” Science 210, 797–799 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

Stevens, S. S.

J. E. Hawkins, S. S. Stevens, “The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 6–13 (1950).
[CrossRef]

Swets, J. A.

D. M. Green, J. A. Swets, Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (Wiley, New York, 1966).

Wagner, R. F.

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Weaver, W.

C. E. Shannon, W. Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (U. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Ill., 1949).

Weber, E. H.

E. H. Weber, De Pulsu, Resorptione, Auditu, et Tactu (Koehler, Leipzig, 1834).

Woodworth, R. S.

R. S. Woodworth, H. Schlosberg, Experimental Psychology (Holt, New York, 1954).

Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. (1)

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: Image processing under UNIX software and applications,” Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 16, 199–216 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Cognition (1)

U. Bellugi, S. Fischer, “A comparison of sign language and spoken language,” Cognition 1, 173–200 (1972).
[CrossRef]

Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. (2)

M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, G. Sperling, “HIPS: a UNIX-based image processing system,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 25, 331–347 (1984). (HIPS is the Human Information Processing Laboratory’s image-processing system.)
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, M. S. Landy, Y. Cohen, M. Pavel, “Intelligible encoding of ASL image sequences at extremely low information rates,” Comput. Vision Graphics Image Process. 31, 335–391 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Electron. Lett. (1)

D. E. Pearson, “Evaluation of feature-extracted images for deaf communication,” Electron. Lett. 19, 629–631 (1983).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Trans. Commun. (2)

D. E. Pearson, “Visual communication systems for the deaf,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1986–1992 (1981).
[CrossRef]

G. Sperling, “Video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling: present and projected bandwidth requirements,”IEEE Trans. Commun. C-29, 1993–2002 (1981).
[CrossRef]

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

D. G. Pelli, L. C. Applegate, “The visual requirements of mobility,” Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 26, 57 (1985).

Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. (2)

G. S. Rubin, K. Siegel, “Recognition of low-pass filtered faces and letters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 25, 71 (1984).

D. G. Pelli, “The spatiotemporal spectrum of the equivalent noise of human vision,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Suppl. 24, 46 (1983).

J. Acoust. Soc. Am. (2)

I. Pollack, “Message uncertainty and message reception,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 1500–1508 (1959).
[CrossRef]

J. E. Hawkins, S. S. Stevens, “The masking of pure tones and of speech by white noise,”J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 6–13 (1950).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (1)

Ophthalmology (1)

D. Regan, D. Neima, “Low-contrast letter charts as a test of visual function,” Ophthalmology 90, 1192–1200 (1983).
[PubMed]

Proc. Soc. Inf. Disp. (1)

A. P. Ginsburg, “Specifying relevant spatial information for image evaluation and display designs: an explanation of how we see certain objects,” Proc. Soc. Inf. Disp. 21, 219–227 (1980).

Science (2)

A. E. Burgess, R. F. Wagner, R. J. Jennings, H. B. Barlow, “Efficiency of human visual detection,” Science 214, 93–94 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Sperling, “Bandwidth requirements for video transmission of American sign language and finger spelling,” Science 210, 797–799 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Vision Res. (2)

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. I. Normal vision,” Vision Res. 25, 239–252 (1985).
[CrossRef]

G. E. Legge, G. S. Rubin, D. G. Pelli, M. M. Schleske, “Psychophysics of reading. II. Low vision,” Vision Res. 25, 253–266 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Other (13)

D. G. Pelli, Institute for Sensory Research, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244-5290 (personal communication, 1983).

A. P. Ginsburg, “Visual information processing based on spatial filters constrained by biological data,” Vols. 1 and 2 of doctoral dissertation (Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1978); also in (Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1978).

J. F. Abramatic, P. Letellier, M. Nadler, “A narrow-band video communication system for the transmission of sign language over ordinary telephone lines,” in Image Sequence Processing and Dynamic Scene Analysis, T. S. Huang, ed. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 314–336.
[CrossRef]

D. E. Pearson, H. Six, “Low data-rate moving-image transmission for deaf communication, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Image Processing (Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, 1982), pp. 204–208.

G. Sperling, M. Pavel, Y. Cohen, M. S. Landy, B. J. Schwartz, “Image processing in perception and cognition,” in Physical and Biological Processing of Images. Rank Prize Funds International Symposium at The Royal Society of London, O. J. Braddick, A. C. Sleigh, eds., Vol. 11 of Springer Series in Information Sciences (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983), pp. 359–378.
[CrossRef]

H. Poizner, H. Lane, “Discrimination of location in American sign language,” in Understanding Language through Sign Language, P. Siple, ed. (Academic, New York, 1978), pp. 271–287.

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

The production of test stimuli. The signer is illuminated by optimally located lamps and photographed through a 12 in. × 18 in. (30.5 cm × 45.7 cm) aperture (A) by a video camera (C) (located at D = 4.44 m) and recorded on a VCR. The output of the VCR is converted into a machine-readable format by a Grinnell image processor (IP). A DEC VAX 11/750 computer is used to crop, subsample, and add noise to the image, which then is reconverted into video format by the IP, rerecorded on the VCR, and viewed by subjects on location on a monitor (M) through a viewing hood (V).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Single frames taken from the ASL sequence “animal” with added noise. (a) s/n = ∞; (b) s/n = 1; (c) s/n = 0 (pure noise). Because the signal is correlated between frames and the noise is not, the single-frame static illustration (b) appears to be of a lower image quality than the dynamic images viewed by the subjects.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Probability of correct response (averaged over subjects) as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio. Within each vertical group of points, the normalized contrast C of the images varies. The smooth curve is derived from Eq. (13).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Probability of a correct response (intelligibility) as a function of the English word frequency for each of the ASL signs tested. For these data, the correlation between intelligibility and word frequency is 0.15, which is not statistically different from zero.

Tables (2)

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Table 1 Representation of the Difficulty of ASL Signs

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Table 2 Summary of Intelligibility Results (All Stimuli)

Equations (15)

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Prob { correct detection } = p ( s , n ) = f ( s / n )
s / n = k p ,
C ^ k = [ i = 1 m ( v k ( i ) - v ¯ k ) 2 ( m - 1 ) v ¯ k 2 ] 1 / 2 ,
C ^ = 1 K k = 1 K C ^ k .
v k ( i ) = v ¯ k + C [ v k ( i ) - v ¯ k ] .
N ^ = C C ^ s / n .
s / n = 1.00 :             ( 0.5 / 0.5 ) , ( 0.25 / 0.25 ) , ( 0.125 / 0.125 ) ; s / n = 0.50 :             ( 0.5 / 1.0 ) , ( 0.25 / 0.50 ) , ( 0.125 / 0.250 ) ; s / n = 0.25 :             ( 0.5 / 2.0 ) , ( 0.25 / 1.00 ) , ( 0.125 / 0.500 ) .
lim s s ( n 2 + n i 2 ) 1 / 2 = 1 k ,
n e 2 = n 2 + ( k s ) 2 .
p ( s , n ) = ( s n e ) 2 = s 2 n 2 + ( k s ) 2 = 1 k 2 + ( n s ) 2 .
p ( s n ) = 1 k + - 2 log ( s / n ) ,
p ( s n ) = 1 k + - α log ( s / n ) - β ,
α = 4.476 , β = 5.033 ,
μ = - 1.124 , σ = 0.123 , k = 1.125.
P ( x , s n ) = 1 1 + - α [ log ( s / n ) - d ( x ) ] - β .

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