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HUMAN VISUAL SYSTEM

Visual Resolution

its representations. and the way the eye perceives color. Some of the ideas and results presented here were developed by the International Committee on Illumination (Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage.Visual Resolution . and all other output devices have their limitations and work best when using certain colour representations. LCD displays. CRTs. . Colour printers use various inks (in the form of liquid. The CRT is currently a common output device. or CIE). but those cannot reproduce pure spectral colours. The hardware used to display colour is also an important consideration in any computer application that uses colour. and one way to achieve good compression of images is to lose some of this data. The data loss must be done selectively and the guiding principle is to lose data for which the human visual system is not sensitive. wax. There are several properties of the Human Visual System of which includes: .Brightness Discrimination . an international organization with a long history of illuminating various aspects of light and illumination. Printers. This requires a detailed knowledge of colour its representations.Visual Fatigue We are going to discuss “Visual Resolution” in details. HUMAN VISUAL SYSTEM Introduction Image and video compression deal with large quantities of data. and the way the eye perceives it.Fusion . and they suffer from the same shortcoming. This appendix is an introduction to colour. or powder) to mix colours on paper.Flicker .Energy Detection . It displays colour by means of light emitting phosphors.

red. Cones also produce the sensation we call colour. such as red from green. The eyes' visual fields overlap in the center. these signals are rearranged when the brain processes them into an image that is right side up. VISUAL RESOLUTION Visual Resolution is the amount of detail that can be distinguished in a picture by the human eye. which operate best at very low light levels. Millions of cone cells are packed into the macula. Rods are insensitive to colour. Depending on the display used. In this period of adaptation to the dark the eye becomes almost entirely dependent on the rods for vision. the ability of both eyes to look straight ahead but see the same scene from a slightly different angle. When a person passes from a brightly lit place to one that is dimly illuminated. The retina is made up of two types of cells: cones and rods. This would seem to give us an upside-down picture of the world. Since the rods do not distinguish colour. Cones mix the colour signals to produce the variety of colours we see. Another feature of eyesight is stereoscopic or binocular vision. an image's visual resolution may be lower than its display resolution. Rays from the lower half of the same object are focused on the upper half of the retina. Fortunately. but will never be higher. Display Resolution. see a street sign. They also provide peripheral vision. After some minutes this impression passes and vision becomes more distinct. which respond either to blue. such as entering a movie theatre during the day. but not the same as. but they do not see as acutely as cones. Cones are nerve cells that are sensitive to light. vision in dim light is almost colourless. that person is said to be colour-blind and has difficulty distinguishing between certain colours. Cones contain three different pigments. and the brain merges these images to create a sense of depth important for . aiding it in providing the visual detail needed to scan the letters on an eye chart. This is related to. the interior seems very dark. Light rays that reflect from the upper half of any object we look at are focused on the lower half of the retina. If a person is missing one or more of the pigments. or green wavelengths of light. Rods are designed for night vision and the detection of motion and objects. or read the words in a newspaper. and colour. detail.

are sensitive to color. we show that orientation-specific adaptation is not affected by crowding.judging distance. and blue (Figure H.000 sensors (for a cheap camera) to about six million sensors (for a high-quality one). The human eye is. the cones are very sensitive to red. The B cones are sensitive to green light (a little more than the A cones). We suggest that the attentional filter acts in one or more higher visual cortical areas to restrict the availability of visual information to conscious awareness. we find that attentional resolution is greater in the lower than in the upper visual field. which is one reason why CRTs use these colors as primaries. that creates the sensation of color in the brain. Human Vision We see light that enters the eye and falls on the retina. and respond only to light and dark. There are three types of cones. They number about 6. sends a light sensation to the brain that is essentially a pixel. and it is the ratio of those stimuli. whereas there is no corresponding asymmetry in the primary visual cortex. Consistent with this. The other type is the cones. This theory explains why any color representation uses three parameters. we naturally want to compare the resolution of the eye to that of a modern digital camera. but their sensitivity is about 1/30 that of the A or B cones.000 to 125. green. The trichromatic theory of color vision says that light of a given wavelength stimulates each of the three types of cones in a different way. where there are two types of photosensitive cells.000. They contain pigments that absorb visible light and hence give us the sense of vision. which are numerous. One type is the rods. To investigate this.400. in the order of hundreds of photons. human observers are aware of its orientation. When a single grating is presented in the periphery of the visual field. thus. Incidentally. its orientation becomes impossible to discern. Nevertheless. Birds.000 rods in the eye. not their absolute values. but require more intense light. There are about 110. Current digital cameras have from 300. Each of the light sensors in the eye. fish. a process that occurs in primary visual cortex. we studied adaptation to lines of specific orientation.7). The A cones are sensitive to red light. but it is not known to what extent it is also limited by the resolving power of attention. rods and cones. and the C cones are sensitive to blue light. Visual spatial resolution is limited by factors ranging from optics to neuronal filters in the visual cortex. and the brain combines these pixels to a continuous image. They are very sensitive and can respond to a single photon of light. . and snakes have monocular vision in which each eye sees a separate image covering a wide area on each side of the head. any light intensity and background illumination that happen to produce the same ratio of stimuli will seem to have the same color. Once this is realized. implying that spatial resolution is limited by an attentional filter acting beyond the primary visual cortex.000. are spread all over the retina. similar to a digital camera. As a result. Humans and other mammals have stereoscopic vision. but when it is flanked by other similar gratings ('crowding'). located in one small area of the retina (the fovea).000.

and yellow—are psychologically associated with heat. ice) and are therefore called cool colors. They are considered warm and cause a picture to appear larger and closer than it really is. orange. They cause a picture to look smaller and farther away. but its effective resolution is even higher when we consider that the eye can move and refocus itself about three to four times a second. sky. This means that in a single second. the eye features a much higher resolution. Thus. violet. the ratio of the resolutions is about 100. water. Other colors—such as blue. Assuming that our camera takes a snapshot once a second. the eye can sense and send to the brain about half a billion pixels. . Certain colors such as red. and green—are associated with cool things (air.