Michael Dorr, Luis Lesmes, Tobias Elze, Hui Wang, Zhong-Lin Lu, and Peter Bex


The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) relates the visibility of a spatial pattern to both its size and contrast, and is therefore a more comprehensive assessment of visual function than acuity, which only determines the smallest resolvable pattern size. Because of the additional dimension of contrast, estimating the CSF can be more time-consuming. Here, we compare two methods for rapid assessment of the CSF that were implemented on a tablet device. For a single-trial assessment, we asked 63 myopes and 38 emmetropes to tap the peak of a "sweep grating" on the tablet's touch screen. For a more precise assessment, subjects performed 50 trials of the quick CSF method in a 10-AFC letter recognition task. Tests were performed with and without optical correction, and in monocular and binocular conditions; one condition was measured twice to assess repeatability.

Results show that both methods are highly correlated; using both common and novel measures for test-retest repeatability, however, the quick CSF delivers more precision with testing times of under three minutes. Further analyses show how a population prior can improve convergence rate of the quick CSF, and how the multi-dimensional output of the quick CSF can provide greater precision than scalar outcome measures.