Recently, it has been argued that the precision of image stabilization is reflected in the magnitude of the differences in contrast sensitivity measures obtained with and without image stabilization. Here we present two sets of data, one showing large and the other small differences in contrast sensitivity to sinusoidal gratings viewed under stabilized and unstabilized, normal conditions. Both sets of data were obtained by the use of the same apparatus optimized for image stabilization. Large differences occur between unstabilized and stabilized measures of sensitivity only when the observer is allowed to scan the unstabilized test grating, or to prolong inspection of the stabilized target thus allowing for disappearance of the stabilized image. On the other hand, when the target is presented for a few seconds and the observer fixates on it, normal image motion, which results from eye movements of fixation, is found to enhance contrast sensitivity by only a small amount. It would appear, therefore, that the extent of reduction of sensitivity for a stabilized grating cannot be used as an index of the precision of image stabilization.
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