ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to determine contrast sensitivity curves of concentric circular patterns with radial frequencies of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 cycles per degree in young and older adult volunteers. These parameters were also compared with sensitivity contrasts for sine-wave gratings. All participants had normal acuity vision and were free of identifiable ocular illness. Contrast sensitivity was measured in 6 young adults aged 19 to 23 years and 6 older adults aged 60 to 69 years using the psychophysical forced-choice method. In this paradigm the volunteers had to decide which of two stimuli contained the above radial frequencies at low contrast levels. The other neutral stimulus was gray with homogeneous luminance. We detected a decline in contrast sensitivity for older adults at all radial frequencies compared to young adults. Also, contrast sensitivity for sine-wave gratings at all measured frequencies was better, as predicted, for all young adults. Maximum sensitivities in the radial frequency contrast sensitivity function and contrast sensitivity function occurred at 0.25 and 0.5 cycles per degree, respectively, for both young and older adults. These results suggest age-related changes in the contrast sensitivity function for concentric symmetrical stimuli.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 07/2006; 39(6):791-4. · 1.13 Impact Factor