Vernier thresholds rise much more rapidly in the periphery than do grating thresholds. A similar dissociation between acuity and hyperacuity has been shown to be present in strabismic but not in anisometropic amblyopia, thus leading to the suggestion that the strabismic fovea is similar to the normal periphery. Here it is shown that a quantitative model for spatial pattern discrimination, which accounts for foveal hyperacuity data, can be extended to encompass both the periphery and amblyopia if appropriate alterations are made. For the periphery it is necessary to increase the size of model receptive fields and to introduce both spatial undersampling and position irregularity (i.e. irregularity in the location of cortical filters). The strabismic fovea also requires spatial undersampling and position irregularity but no change in receptive field size. Defects in the good eye of strabismics can be explained by spatial irregularity. Finally, the anisometropic fovea requires a reduction in mechanism sensitivity but neither spatial undersampling nor position irregularity.