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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1991 Jul;32(8):2337-50.

Image enhancement for the visually impaired. Simulations and experimental results.

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Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA 02114.


Digital image enhancement has been proposed as an aid for the visually impaired. The capability of two enhancement techniques to improve recognition of images by patients with central scotoma or cataracts was evaluated using image-processing simulations and direct patient testing. Enhancements and simulations were based on measurements of contrast sensitivity loss for patients with macular disease. Contrast sensitivity loss was measured using Gabor-type localized stimuli and paradigms that are appropriate for analyzing form perception. The simulations using the contrast sensitivity data suggested that patients with moderate visual loss (20/70-20/200) may have difficulty recognizing faces and may benefit from enhancement by both of the techniques used. Ability to recognize celebrities from enhanced images improved for 39 of the 46 patients tested. The improvement was significant (P less than 0.05) for 16 of the 38 patients with central visual loss and for 3 of 8 patients with anterior segment media opacities tested. The simulations suggest that the benefits of image enhancement may be similar or even greater for recognition of other types of images.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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