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Vision Res. 2005 Jul;45(15):1991-2007.

Generic and customized digital image enhancement filters for the visually impaired.

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School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ont., N2L 3G1, Canada.


This study compares the effectiveness of various image enhancement filters for improving the perceived visibility of coloured digital natural images for people with visual impairment. Generic filters were compared with Peli's adaptive enhancement and adaptive thresholding and custom-devised filters based on each subject's contrast sensitivity loss. Subjects with low vision made within filter rankings followed by between filter ratings. In general, subjects preferred filters with lower gains. Unsharp masking resulted in a significant increase in perceived visibility for some image types (p < or = 0.05) while Peli's adaptive enhancement, edge enhancement and histogram equalization resulted in borderline improvements. Adaptive thresholding and the custom devised filter did not result in overall improvements in perceived visibility.

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