Contrast discrimination in peripheral vision

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Contrast discrimination provides a psychophysical method for studying contrast coding in vision. Our purpose was to compare properties of contrast discrimination in central and peripheral vision. We used forced-choice procedures to measure contrast-increment thresholds as a function of pedestal contrast. Our stimuli were 2-cycle/deg Gaussian-windowed sine-wave grating patches. They were centered at retinal loci ranging from 10° nasal to 20° temporal on the horizontal meridian. At each eccentricity, curves relating increment threshold to pedestal contrast had the same shape. When increment thresholds and pedestal contrasts were both normalized by the contrast thresholds at the retinal eccentricity in question, the curves became superimposed and fell along the same dipper-shaped contrast-discrimination function. We conclude that, after scaling by the local contrast sensitivity, properties of contrast discrimination are qualitatively and quantitatively similar from 0° to 20° on the retina. These findings suggest that mechanisms of contrast coding are similar in central and peripheral vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1598
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1987


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