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Mariska G. M. Stokkermans, Ingrid M. L. C. Vogels, Ingrid E. J. Heynderickx; The effect of spatial luminance distribution on dark adaptation. Journal of Vision 2016;16(8):11. doi: 10.1167/16.8.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent studies show that dark adaptation in the visual system depends on local luminance levels surrounding the viewing direction. These studies, however, do not explain to what extent veiling luminance is responsible for the outcome. To address the latter, in this study dark adaptation was measured for three different spatial luminance distributions surrounding a target to be detected, while keeping the veiling luminance at the location of the target equivalent. The results show that a background with bright areas close to the viewing direction yields longer adaptation times than a background with bright areas at a larger visual angle. Therefore, we conclude that dark adaptation is affected to a great extent by local luminance, even when controlling for veiling luminance. Based on our results, a simple but adequate model is proposed to predict the adaptation luminance threshold for backgrounds having a nonuniform luminance distribution.
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