Disentangling the role of spatial scale, separation and eccentricity in Weber's law for position

Vision Res. 1997 Mar;37(5):515-24. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(96)00202-7.


Factors underlying Weber's law for position were investigated by measuring spatial interval discrimination accuracy for spectrally narrow-band stimuli. These stimuli were positioned around an iso-eccentric arc in order to allow separation and eccentricity to be varied independently. We find that Weber's law occurs at individual spatial scales, and holds true not just for stimuli positioned either side of fixation, but for any series of stimuli which possess the same ratio of separation to eccentricity. When the separation/eccentricity ratio is large, thresholds are proportional to eccentricity and demonstrate contrast independence. At smaller separation/ eccentricity ratios, thresholds are determined by a contrast-dependent combination of separation and eccentricity.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*