Abstract

Visual acuity in coherent and incoherent light has been determined by using square-wave gratings of 100% contrast. Luminance was varied from 3 to 400 cd/m2. Coherent illumination resulted in a 40% loss of visual acuity. This is probably due to the masking effect of coherent spatial noise (speckle). However, the most interesting finding is the change in shape of the photopic visual-acuity–luminance function. With coherent illumination, the function is vertically displaced and of a different gradient. An increase in luminance produces a decrease in visual acuity. This indicates that the masking effect of the speckle is dependent on luminance. Two observers were used, and similar results were obtained by both.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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