The sensitivity of separation discrimination to spatiotemporal jitter

David R. Badcock, Terrence L. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Differences of less than 20 sec of visual angle in the separation of a pair of closely spaced parallel lines can be reliably detected. This ability is known as a hyperacuity because the thresholds are smaller than the diameter of one foveal cone. It is shown that this ability does not require a stationary pattern. Indeed, correlated horizontal jitter of the line pair has little detrimental effect on performance for jitter that ranges up to 8 min arc for two lines with a separation of only 6 min arc. Uncorrelated jitter of the two lines, which allows the actual separation to vary from moment to moment, causes performance to deteriorate at a rate similar to the rise of signal uncertainty. The results reflect the operation of a system which is not only extremely robust to oculomotor instability but is also robust to positional variation that could not be produced by eye movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1560
Number of pages6
JournalVision Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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