Abstract

Temporal resolution of the neural and cortical components of vision was studied with periodic electric stimuli as a means of by-passing the photochemical retina. Difference-limens for discriminating the frequency of the faint flashes of light due to the passage of current through the eye were obtained at 13 frequencies between 5 and 45 cps. The wave form of the periodic current was square with no dc component, and the current level was set by a method developed to produce electrical phosphenes of the same intensity at each frequency. Data from two observers give average deviations (ΔF) from the standard frequency (F) of 0.11 to 0.62 cps. The relative difference-limens, ΔF/F, lie between 0.009 and 0.03. Graphic integration of 1/ΔF gives 127 just noticeable differences in the range studied. The graph relating ΔF and F shows ΔF to be a complex function of F. Recent data on the discrimination of photic intermittence also show ΔF to be a complex function of F, although of a quite different form in the frequency range between 15 and 40 cps. These results with square waves of current are compared with earlier work on the differential sensitivity of the eye to the frequency of sine waves.

© 1956 Optical Society of America

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