- Conference date: 21–26 October 2007
- Location: Campinas, São Paulo (Brazil)
In Optometry and in Audiology, the routine tests to prescribe correction lenses and headsets are respectively the visual acuity test (the first chart with letters was developed by Snellen in 1862) and conventional pure tone audiometry (the first audiometer with electrical current was devised by Hartmann in 1878). At present there are psychophysical non invasive tests that, besides evaluating visual and auditory performance globally and even in cases catalogued as normal according to routine tests, supply early information regarding diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, renal failure, cardiovascular problems, etc. Concerning Optometry, one of these tests is the achromatic luminance contrast sensitivity test (introduced by Schade in 1956). Concerning Audiology, one of these tests is high frequency pure tone audiometry (introduced a few decades ago) which yields information relative to pathologies affecting the basal cochlea and complements data resulting from conventional audiometry. These utilities of the contrast sensitivity test and of pure tone audiometry derive from the facts that Fourier components constitute the basis to synthesize stimuli present at the entrance of the visual and auditory systems; that these systems responses depend on frequencies and that the patient's psychophysical state affects frequency processing. The frequency of interest in the former test is the effective spatial frequency (inverse of the angle subtended at the eye by a cycle of a sinusoidal grating and measured in cycles/degree) and, in the latter, the temporal frequency (measured in cycles/sec). Both tests have similar duration and consist in determining the patient's threshold (corresponding to the inverse multiplicative of the contrast or to the inverse additive of the sound intensity level) for each harmonic stimulus present at the system entrance (sinusoidal grating or pure tone sound). In this article the frequencies, standard normality curves and abnormal threshold shifts inherent to the contrast sensitivity test (which for simplicity could be termed “visionmetry”) and to pure tone audiometry (also termed auditory sensitivity test) are analyzed with the purpose of contributing to divulge their ability to supply early information associated to pathologies not solely related to the visual and auditory systems respectively.
- Contrast sensitivity
- Acoustic signal processing
- Auditory system
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