Abstract

A briefly flashed pattern never appears quite sharp, and visual acuity is reduced with short exposures. These observations led to an examination of the effect of exposure duration on sharpness discrimination. A foveally seen edge appears just-discriminably blurred when its edge light distribution is changed from being sharp to conforming to a ramp whose width (increasing from 0% to 100% of maximal luminance) is ~1 arcmin. When the exposure duration is reduced, the ramp width for minimal blur increases, rising by factors of 2–4 for exposures as short as 30 msec. This change is not due to a shortage of light. Threshold blur discrimination is not affected by retinal image motions of up to 1 deg/sec. Temporal combinations of sharp and blurred borders always worsen performance, and multiple brief presentations do not give so good a threshold as a single longer one.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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