Abstract

The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) of the whole visual system is determined with the use of coherent diffuse illumination. This function provides supplementary data about the effect of speckle on the ability of the visual system to perceive the spatial information contained in an image. The results show that speckle not only prevents perception of the finest details (highest frequencies) but also reduces the visibility of lower frequencies (especially where contrast is low). The difference between the CSF’s determined with and without speckle is quantitatively very important. And the ratio between the two CSF’s is a measure of the retinal ability to perceive contrast in the presence of speckle noise. The influence of the pupil size and luminance level on the CSF with speckle is studied and compared with the influence of the same parameters on the classical CSF.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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