This study examined the contrast and spatial-frequency requirements for emmetropization in chicks. Chicks were form deprived from hatching either constantly or had this treatment interrupted with 20 min of "visual stimulation" each day. Visual stimulation comprised exposure to either a normal cage environment (i.e., normal vision) or environments that were restricted in either their spatial contrast or spatial-frequency composition. Constant form deprivation resulted in high myopia (e.g. -11.8 D after 5 days), with refractive changes being much smaller in chicks allowed 20 min of normal vision each day (e.g. -3.4D). The restricted contrast environments (contrast range: 9-78%) were generally only slightly less effective than the normal cage environment in preventing form-deprivation myopia. However, in the case of restricted spatial-frequency environments, both the intermediate (0.86 cycles deg-1) and mixed spatial-frequency environments significantly reduced the form deprivation response, while both the high (4.3 cycles deg-1) and low spatial-frequency (0.086 cycles deg-1) stimuli, as well as the composites of these, were less effective in preventing form-deprivation myopia. This spatial-frequency dependence did not vary when, instead of white light, monochromatic illumination was used to eliminate chromatic aberration, although all groups showed more myopia under this condition. It is assumed that the observed inhibitory effects on form-deprivation myopia reflect the adequacy of the visual information presented during the period of visual stimulation for emmetropization in chicks. In this context, the data imply a mid-spatial-frequency tuning in the current study and a low contrast threshold which was not reached for this emmetropization process. Finally, the data hint that chromatic aberration may have some role as a cue to defocus in emmetropization.