Spatial frequency and visual discomfort

Publication year: 2011
Source: Vision Research, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Louise, O’Hare , Paul B., Hibbard

Images created from noise filtered to have an approximately 1/f amplitude spectrum were altered by adding excess energy concentrated at various spatial frequencies. The effects of this manipulation on judgements of visual discomfort were studied. Visual noise with a 1/f amplitude spectrum (typical of natural images) was judged more comfortable than any image with a relative increase in contrast energy within a narrow spatial frequency band. A peak centred on 0.375 to 1.5 cycles/degree of spatial frequency was consistently judged as more uncomfortable than a peak at a higher spatial frequency. This finding was robust to slight differences in eccentricity,…

 Highlights: ► Spatial frequency tuning effect found for visual discomfort of filtered noise stimuli. ► Finding ► robust to differences in eccentricity and methodology. ► Could be explained in terms of efficient coding and deviation from natural image statistics.