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Comparison of angular frequency contrast sensitivity in young and older adults

By Santos N.A., Simas M.L.B. and Nogueira R.M.T.B.L.


The aim of the present study was to measure contrast sensitivity curves for angular frequencies in the range between 2 and 96 cycles/360º in older human adult volunteers and to compare these measurements with the more usual contrast sensitivity functions for sine-wave gratings. All subjects were free of identifiable ocular disease and had normal acuity. We measured the contrast thresholds for young adults (N = 6; age range, 20-26 years) and older adults (N = 6; age range, 60-67 years) using the psychophysical forced-choice method. In this paradigm the volunteers had to choose the stimulus containing a test frequency at low contrast (e.g., either a sine-wave grating or an angular frequency stimulus), or another neutral stimulus at mean luminance (without any contrast). Older adults presented a loss in contrast sensitivity at high and medium angular frequencies compared to the young adults (i.e., from 8 to 96 cycles/360º). Contrary to expectation, contrast sensitivity at low angular frequencies, i.e., 2 and 4 cycles/360º, was better for the older group than for the younger group. On the other hand, contrast sensitivity for sine-wave gratings at 3 and 4 cpd was higher for young adults as expected. These results suggest age-related changes in the contrast sensitivity function for angular frequencies

Topics: Human aging, Spatial frequency, Angular frequency, Contrast sensitivity, Forced-choice method, Biology (General), QH301-705.5, Science, Q, DOAJ:Biology, DOAJ:Biology and Life Sciences, Medicine (General), R5-920, Medicine, R, DOAJ:Medicine (General), DOAJ:Health Sciences
Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Year: 2004
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