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The spatial frequency discrimination function at low contrasts

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Spatial frequency difference thresholds for sinewave gratings near contrast threshold were measured using a two-alternative forced-choice technique, and the threshold frequency differences were plotted as a proportion of standard frequency for standards from 2 to 7 cycles/degree. This function shows reliable local maxima and minima, and these features are more pronounced than they are when stimuli of 30% contrast are used. This result is consistent with the notion that at low contrasts, fewer spatial frequency channels are above threshold in the area of the visual field covered by the stimulus than when the stimulus is at high contrast.

Affiliations: 1: Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research, SUNY College of Optometry, 100 E. 24 Street, New York, NY 10010, USA


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