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To evaluate temporal contrast sensitivity with full field, peripheral, and central stimulation and to determine the most sensitive corresponding retinal area for glaucoma damage.Temporal contrast sensitivity was determined either with a full field, a peripheral annular area from 30° to 90°, or a central area from 0° to 30° at a frequency of 37.1 Hz. 232 eyes of 232 subjects were included. They were classified into four groups: eyes with ocular hypertension (OHT, n = 54), "preperimetric" glaucomas (n = 73) with glaucomatous optic disc abnormalities but no visual field loss, "perimetric" glaucomas (n = 53) with visual field loss, and 52 normals.In all four groups, temporal contrast senstitivity was almost equal with full field and peripheral, but significantly higher than with central stimulation (p <0.001). With regard to the diagnostic power of the three different stimulus areas, OHTs and glaucomas were found to be best discriminated from normals by peripheral stimulation.According to these results, temporal contrast sensitivity seems to be determined by peripheral retinal areas. As the diagnostic power of the three different stimulus areas was best with the peripheral stimulation, this condition should be used for early glaucoma diagnosis.