February 1995
Volume 36, Issue 2
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Articles  |   February 1995
Masking potency and whiteness of noise at various noise check sizes.
Author Affiliations
  • H Kukkonen
    Department of Communication and Neuroscience, University of Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
  • J Rovamo
    Department of Communication and Neuroscience, University of Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
  • R Näsänen
    Department of Communication and Neuroscience, University of Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science February 1995, Vol.36, 513-518. doi:
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      H Kukkonen, J Rovamo, R Näsänen; Masking potency and whiteness of noise at various noise check sizes.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(2):513-518.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The masking effect of spatial noise can be increased by increasing either the rms contrast or check size of noise. In this study, the authors investigated the largest noise check size that still mimics the effect of white noise in grating detection and how it depends on the bandwidth and spatial frequency of a grating. METHODS: The authors measured contrast energy thresholds, E, for vertical cosine gratings at various spatial frequencies and bandwidths. Gratings were embedded in two-dimensional spatial noise. The side length of the square noise checks was varied in the experiments. The spectral density, N(0,0), of white spatial noise at zero frequency was calculated by multiplying the noise check area by the rms contrast of noise squared. RESULTS: The physical signal-to-noise ratio at threshold [E/N(0,0)]0.5 was initially constant but then started to decrease. The largest noise check that still produced a constant physical signal-to-noise ratio at threshold was directly proportional to the spatial frequency. When expressed as a fraction of grating cycle, the largest noise check size depended only on stimulus bandwidth. The smallest number of noise checks per grating cycle needed to mimic the effect of white noise decreased from 4.2 to 2.6 when the number of grating cycles increased from 1 to 64. CONCLUSION: Spatial noise can be regarded as white in grating detection if there are at least four square noise checks per grating cycle at all spatial frequencies.

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