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Gabor patches

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What are Gabor patches?

Gabor patches are simple visual stimuli used in vision research and psychophysics to study various aspects of visual perception, such as spatial frequency, orientation, and contrast sensitivity. They are named after Dennis Gabor, a Hungarian-British physicist and electrical engineer who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971 for his work on holography.

A Gabor patch consists of a sinusoidal grating (a pattern of alternating light and dark stripes) that is multiplied by a Gaussian envelope (a circular or elliptical shape with a smooth falloff in intensity from the center to the edges). The resulting stimulus looks like a localized patch of stripes with a specific orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast that fades away towards the edges.

Gabor patches have several characteristics that make them useful for studying visual perception:

  1. Simple structure: Gabor patches are mathematically simple and well-defined, making them easy to generate and manipulate.
  2. Localized: The Gaussian envelope confines the grating to a localized region, making it easier to study spatial vision and control the stimulus’ size and location on the retina.
  3. Control over parameters: Gabor patches have several adjustable parameters, such as orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast, allowing researchers to tailor the stimuli to specific research questions or experimental conditions.
  4. Tuning to visual system properties: The visual cortex neurons are selectively sensitive to specific spatial frequencies and orientations. Gabor patches are well-suited for probing these sensitivities, as they closely resemble the receptive fields of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1).

Researchers use Gabor patches in various experimental paradigms to investigate topics such as spatial frequency and orientation selectivity, contrast sensitivity, visual attention, and the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception.

Can Gabor patches improve neuroadaptation after presbyopic or multifocal implants?

Using Gabor patches to improve neuroadaptation after presbyopic or multifocal implant surgery is an interesting idea, though there is limited research specifically addressing this approach. However, there is evidence that visual training exercises can help patients adapt to multifocal lenses or other vision correction surgeries by improving visual processing and attention.

Gabor patches, with their adjustable orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast parameters, could potentially be incorporated into visual training exercises designed to enhance neuroadaptation after presbyopic or multifocal implant surgery. These exercises could involve tasks that require patients to identify or discriminate Gabor patches with different spatial frequencies, orientations, or contrasts, helping them become more sensitive to various visual stimuli and fine-tune their visual processing.

Such visual training exercises could potentially help patients adapt to the new visual input provided by the implants, particularly in the case of multifocal lenses, where the brain needs to learn to interpret and switch between multiple focal points. Training with Gabor patches might help improve the brain’s ability to process different spatial frequencies and orientations, which could, in turn, facilitate the integration of the new visual information.

It is important to note that further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of Gabor patch-based training for improving neuroadaptation after presbyopic or multifocal implant surgery. The success of such an approach would depend on factors such as the specific training paradigm, individual differences in visual processing, and the patient’s commitment to the training program.

Gaber Patch Generator

Online Gabor-patch generator // Cogsci
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Gabor patches are sinusoidal gratings, typically with a Gaussian envelope, which are frequently used as stimuli in psychological experiments. Using this page you can easily create and download high quality Gabor patches. As with most topics, you can find out more about Gabor patches on Wikipedia.

In order to generate multiple Gabor patches at once, you can enter multiple values separated by a comma (“,”). You can download generated stimuli separately or at once as a .zip file. Please note that the script may time out if you generate too many or very large stimuli.

If you are here in the hope of training your eyesight, see this post for a critical discussion of recent claims that visual training with Gabor patches improves vision.

Specify and generate

in degrees
in pixels
Determines the shape of the patch.
Linear (triangular)
Cosine (sine)
Hann (raised cosine)
Hamming (raised cosine)
Circular (sharp edge)
Rectangular (no envelope)
Standard deviation
in pixels (only applies to the Gaussian envelope)
in cycles/ pixel
in cycles (0-1)
Background color
RGB values should be in the 0-255 range or negative (-1).
Negative values create a transparent background.
Red: Green: Blue:
Color 1
RGB values should be in the 0-255 range
Red: Green: Blue:
Color 2
RGB values should be in the 0-255 range
Red: Green: Blue:

View and download

Download all patches as a .zip file

Orientation: 90
Size: 96
Envelope: gaussian
Standard deviation: 12
Frequency: 0.1
Phase: 0
Background color: 128, 128, 12
Color 1: 25, 255, 255
Color 2: 0, 0, 0

Source code

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