Abstract

Moving the retinal image of a sinusoidal grating at a constant velocity (compensated for eye movements) provides controlled spatial and temporal frequencies at every point in the stimulus field. Using this controlled-velocity technique, we have measured the detection threshold for isoluminance, red/green gratings as a function of their spatial and temporal frequencies. The chromatic contrast-threshold surface obtained in this way is analogous to the achromatic contrast-threshold surface measured previously, but the results are quite different. For very low temporal frequencies (below 0.2 Hz), the chromatic sensitivity decreases steadily with decreasing temporal frequency. Below 0.01 Hz, chromatic patterns disappear completely even at maximum contrast (although achromatic or homochromatic patterns do not). In the region above 0.2 Hz, both achromatic and chromatic thesholds can be explained by the same receptive-field-like model. When the center and the surround components of this model are additively combined, they form the chromatic threshold surface; when the sign of either component is reversed, they form the achromatic one.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

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