It is commonly assumed that the visual resolution limit must be equal to or less than the Nyquist frequency of the cone mosaic. However, under some conditions, observers can see fine patterns at the correct orientation when viewing interference fringes with spatial frequencies that are as much as about 1.5 times higher than the nominal Nyquist frequency of the underlying cone mosaic. The existence of this visual ability demands a closer scrutiny of the sampling effects of the cone mosaic and the information that is sufficient for an observer to resolve a sinusoidal grating. The Nyquist frequency specifies which images can be reconstructed without aliasing by an imaging system that samples discretely. However, it is not a theoretical upper bound for psychophysical measures of visual resolution because the observer’s criteria for resolving sinusoidal gratings are less stringent than the criteria specified by the sampling theorem for perfect, alias-free image reconstruction.
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