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The effect of spatial frequency and contrast on visual persistence

Alison C. Bowling, Southern Cross University
William Lovegrove, University of Tasmania
Barry Mapperson, University of Tasmania


The visual persistence of sinusoidal gratings of varying spatial frequency and contrast was measured. It was found that the persistence of low-contrast gratings was longer than that of high-contrast stimuli for all spatial frequencies investigated. At higher contrast levels of 1 and 4 cycles deg-1 gratings, a tendency for persistence to be independent of contrast was observed. For 12 cycles deg-1 gratings, however, persistence continued to decrease with increasing contrast. These results are compared with recently published data on other temporal responses, and are discussed in terms of the different properties of sustained and transient channels.

Suggested Citation

Bowling, AC, Lovegrove, W & Mapperson, B 1979, 'The effect of spatial frequency and contrast on visual persistence', Perception, vol. 8, no. 5, pp.529-539.

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