Indexed on: 15 Dec '11Published on: 15 Dec '11Published in: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
To investigate how background complexity influences visual sensitivity and binocular summation.Using two noise backgrounds (noise-sparse and noise-dense) and two corresponding noise-free backgrounds with the same luminance for each noise background, monocular and binocular thresholds were measured in six visually normal subjects (average age, 27.3 ± 1.1 years). The noise-sparse and noise-dense backgrounds respectively had 312 and 936 white-light dots projected on them-the same size white-light dots (0.431° of visual angle) as those that were used for the white-spot target in the threshold measurement. The target was tested at the fovea and at 3° intervals on the 45°, 135°, 225°, and 315° meridians. A total of 25 locations were tested.The monocular threshold for the noise-dense background was higher than that for its corresponding noise-free background, with significant differences seen at 15° and 18° (P < 0.01). No significant differences in the binocular threshold were seen, either between the noise-dense and its corresponding backgrounds or between the noise-sparse and its corresponding backgrounds. The binocular summation ratios for both noise backgrounds were significantly higher than the ratios for the noise-free backgrounds, and the difference increased with eccentricity, with significances seen at 15° and 18° (P < 0.01).Only the monocular threshold increases with background complexity. The binocular summation increases with background complexity in the periphery. When the background becomes more complex and the monocular visual processing reaches its limit, binocular interaction functions efficiently.