The contrast sensitivity function (CSF), although containing more information than traditional measures of acuity, has found difficulty gaining clinical acceptance. The hesitancy of clinicians to adopt the CSF stems, in part, from the fact that it is not as readily interpreted as is acuity. In order to facilitate such interpretation, five indices of spatial vision which are derivable from the CSF were examined in a sample of 287 persons aged 5 to 85 years. All indices were found to be both age-sensitive and strongly related to each other, but bandwidth of the CSF was chosen as a practical index for clinical settings. In a second study, acuity and CSF bandwidth were measured under 0 to ±1 D optical blur. It was found that the correction providing best acuity also maximized CSF bandwidth, and that bandwidth was more sensitive to optical blur than was acuity. Results support the assertion that CSF bandwidth is a readily interpreted index of spatial vision that can be measured efficiently within the context of clinical refraction.
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