What is the highest resolution humans can distinguish?

EyeWire is all about understanding vision. Today guest blogger Paul King answers a question rarely considered question: just how well can a human see?

Guest Blogger and Neuroscientist Paul King of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley weighs in on Quora.

neuroscientist paul kingQ: What is the highest resolution humans can distinguish?

A: “The visual resolution of the human eye is about 1 arc minute.

At a viewing distance of 20″, that translates to about 170 dpi (or pixels-per-inch / PPI), which equals a dot pitch of around 0.14 mm.  LCD monitors today have a dot pitch of .18mm to .24mm.

A 30″ monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio would be sized around 26″ x 15″. To achieve 170 dpi, it would need a resolution of 4400 x 2600 pixels [a MacBook Retina display is 2880 x 1880].

If you want to lean in closer, say to 10″, and still not see the pixels, then you would need to double that resolution.”

That answer would make a good infographic.

In the interest of beautiful, high resolution images as perceived by the human eye, check out this HD Timelapse from Google Pixel:

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