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Subject: Re: Boumas - vision - unsharp
From: Hrant H Papazian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Feb 2001 16:46:36 -0800
Content-Type:text/plain
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Ben Haskell wrote:
> how was this experiment done?

From what I remember, with eye-tracking equipment in place,
a letter was placed a certain lateral distances from the point
of fixation, and the subject was asked to identify the letter.
If the subject couldn't help but flinch and fixate directly on
the letter, the tracking device detected it, and the subject was
promptly beheaded by a scythe attached to the tracking device.
Kidding. That particular test was cancelled.

BTW, it's actually possible to do this type of thing "at home".

> Now the fovea could very well be a high frequency
> sensor while the parafovea is a low frequency sensor.

From what I read somewhere (sorry I can't remember where), there
are many levels of frequency sensitivity in our visual system, and
the brain takes advantage of as many of them as possible. Different
parts of the retina are better at different things, and I guess for
reading the fovea is the best equipped - except that it's too tiny.

> To enhance sharp detail, the image from the foeva would
> need to be compared with and then recombined with the image
> from the parafovea (this would neuronal processing in the
> brain or in the nerve cord leading to the eye).

The fovea actually sees *both* low-frequency data (boumas),
and high-frquency data (letters). But assembling the latter
into words takes too long.

hhp

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