Engineering Observations from Spatiovelocity and Spatiotemporal Visual Models

  • Scott Daly


In designing digital imaging systems capable of capturing or displaying motion imagery, it has been useful to consider the spatiotemporal contrast sensitivity function (CSF) of the visual system. Figure 1 shows the classic envelope of visual sensitivity for spatiotemporal frequencies as first measured by Robson [1], where the contour lines in Figure 1B show increments of approximately 3dB. The peak sensitivity occurs near 3 cy/deg and 3 cy/sec. The maximum cut-off temporal frequency, or critical fusion frequency (CFF), is near 30 Hz and the maximum spatial bandwidth is near 30 cy/deg. In Robson’s experiment and others like it, the stimuli of spatiotemporal frequencies are separable products of spatial and temporal sine waves (and their window functions). However, this spatiotemporal CSF exhibits a non-separable bandpass behaviour along the spatial and temporal frequency axes as can be seen more easily in the contour plot. Although it is understood that this surface represents only the envelope of sensitivity of a hierarchy of more narrowly tuned frequency mechanisms, it is still useful to consider the spatiotemporal CSF for certain imaging system attributes such as formats, display specifications, and non-adaptive quantization parameters of compression algorithms. The outer boundary of the contour plot has been referred to as the “window of visibility” [2], where it was modelled as a rectangular region for engineering purposes.


Spatial Frequency Smooth Pursuit Temporal Frequency Contrast Sensitivity Function High Temporal Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Daly
    • 1
  1. 1.Sharp Laboratories of AmericaCamasUSA

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