Exercise does not increase contrast sensitivity

Woods, Russell L., Wood, Joanne M., & Jack, Michelle P. (1997) Exercise does not increase contrast sensitivity. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 80(5), pp. 173-177.


The contrast sensitivity of 19 healthy normal subjects was measured before and immediately after 10 minutes of controlled exercise on an exercise bicycle. Contrast sensitivity was measured with an adaptive procedure, which is relatively free of decision criteria effects and the rate of false positive responses was recorded. Ten of these 19 subjects then formed a control group, where contrast sensitivity was measured before and after a 10-minute period of rest.

We found no change in either contrast sensitivity or the false positive response rate after exercise. Similarly, there were no changes after the period of rest in the control group. Hence, previous reports of improved contrast sensitivity resulting from exercise, which have used a less robust psychometric method to measure contrast sensitivity, may have measured a change in the subject’s decision criteria rather than a change in contrast sensitivity.

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ID Code: 11917
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The full texts of papers published from 1998 to 2005 can be downloaded free of charge.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: contrast sensitivity, physical exercise, psychometric method
ISSN: 0816-4622
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 Optometrists Association Australia
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 18:25

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