Quantitative Biology


Effect of Fixation Target on the Contrast Sensitivity in the Foveal and Parafoveal Area

Authors: Vicent Sanchis-Jurado, Sophie Triantaphillidou, Edward Fry, Álvaro Pons

Purpose To determine the influence on the contrast sensitivity when the stimulus contains a fixation target in two retinal locations, foveal and parafoveal. Methods Four young adults with 0.0 logMar acuity participated in this study. The stimulus was based on vertical sinusoidal gratings masked by a circular (for foveal area) or a ring (for parafoveal area). To increase the luminance resolution of the display a bit-stealing technique was used. Four different sets of stimuli were generated, two for exploring the foveal sensitivity and two for the parafoveal area. The difference between the sets designed for the same area was the presence, or absence, of a fixation target (a white cross) in the centre of the stimulus. A modified staircase method was implemented. Results The results show a drop in the contrast sensitivity when the fixation target was present on the stimulus for frequencies smaller than 4 cycles per degree. Conclusions The presence of fixation targets diminishes the contrast sensitivity for low to mid frequencies over different concentric areas of the retina. This could be due to the fixational eye movements, different patterns of eye movements were found using an eyetracker. The relationship between the sensitivity in the foveal area and the parafoveal agrees with those reported by other authors using different designs confirming that the new stimulus design is suitable to measure the contrast sensitivity outside the foveal area.

Comments: 12 pages, 4 figures, 1 table

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Submission history

[v1] 2017-11-28 07:34:24

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