Abstract

The responses of 20 young adult emmetropes with normal color vision were measured on a battery of visual performance tasks. Using previously documented tests of known reliability, we evaluated orientation discrimination, contrast sensitivity, wavelength sensitivity, vernier acuity, direction-of-motion detection, velocity discrimination, and complex form identification. Performance varied markedly between individuals, both on a given test and when the scores from all tests were combined to give an overall indication of visual performance. Moreover, individual performances on tests of contrast sensitivity, orientation discrimination, wavelength discrimination, and vernier acuity covaried, such that proficiency on one test predicted proficiency on the others. These results indicate a wide range of visual abilities among normal subjects and provide the basis for an overall index of visual proficiency that can be used to determine whether the surprisingly large and coordinated size differences of the components of the human visual system (Andrews, Halpern, & Purves, 1997) are reflected in corresponding variations in visual performance.

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