Contrast sensitivity at high velocities

Vision Res. 1982;22(4):479-84. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(82)90196-1.


Measurements were made of the contrast required to see the direction of motion of drifting gratings (Part 1) and of moving bars (Part 2). The spatial frequency at which least contrast is required to see sinusoidal gratings decreases as their velocity increases, but peak sensitivity is identical at all velocities up to 800 deg/sec. Similarly, the wider a single bar, the higher the velocity at which it is best visible. A bar 80 deg wide is best seen when moving at 300-500 deg/sec, and can be seen, and its direction of motion identified, even when moving at 10(4) deg/sec. These results show that motion does not diminish the visual passband, but instead slides the spatial frequency window along the spatial frequency scale, maintaining peak sensitivity at a temporal frequency of about 10 Hz (at photopic luminances).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Differential Threshold
  • Flicker Fusion
  • Humans
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Factors