Abstract

We have measured observer performance in identifying gratings that were sampled by degenerate-sampling arrays. Grating identification for high-spatial-frequency stimuli fell to threshold levels only after more than 88% of the sampling elements were subtracted. Although several studies with normal observers have shown that foveal visual acuity corresponds to estimates of interphotoreceptor spacing derived from anatomical photoreceptor density, a simple transformation of sampling-element density to mean spacing does not describe the results in our simulation of degenerate-sampling arrays. To the extent that our model simulates the anatomical changes of retinal pathology, our results suggest that grating acuity reflects the normal high-spatial-sampling rate of small regions of preserved anatomy in the degenerate retina rather than the mean density or spacing of foveal receptors after massive degeneration.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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