June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Age-related decline in chromatic-spatial sensitivity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elise Dees
    Optometry & Visual Science, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway
    Mathematical Sciences & Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway
  • Stuart Gilson
    Optometry & Visual Science, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway
  • Rigmor Baraas
    Optometry & Visual Science, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Elise Dees, None; Stuart Gilson, None; Rigmor Baraas, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 3707. doi:
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      Elise Dees, Stuart Gilson, Rigmor Baraas; Age-related decline in chromatic-spatial sensitivity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3707.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: The aim was to investigate the variation in chromatic contrast sensitivity to low spatial frequencies for observers with varying degrees of color discrimination at different age decades.

Methods: Twenty six normal trichromatic subjects (17 females and 9 males, aged 20-71 years), 2 female carriers of protan color vision deficiencies (aged 20-39) and 6 female carriers of deutan color vision deficiencies (aged 20-59) were included in the study. All observers were healthy with no known ocular abnormalities. They were tested with a battery of color vision tests and their statuses of either a normal trichromat or a carrier were confirmed with genetic analysis of the genes encoding L- and M-pigments. The observers were corrected to best logMar visual acuity and viewed the stimulus monocularly at a distance of either 114.6 cm (0.3-3.0 c/deg) or 229.2 cm (4.0-6.0 c/deg). The stimulus was a Gabor patch with a pseudoisochromatic design. The chromatic contrast was varied along either the L- or M-cone axis in the CIE 1931 chromaticity diagram. The observers were tested with 9-16 different spatial frequencies from 0.3-3.0 c/deg in all observers, and up to 6.0 c/deg in some.

Results: The sensitivity to chromatic spatial patterns declined with age. Subjects aged 50 years and older had significantly lower sensitivity [area under curve (ANOVA: f = 13.27, d.f. = 1, p = 0.01)] and cut-off values (ANOVA: f = 6.33 , d.f. = 1, p = 0.038) than the younger subjects. The protan carriers had similar sensitivity curves as the age matched normal trichromatic subjects. The deutan carriers, however, had on average lower chromatic sensitivity than both the normal trichromatic subjects and the protan carriers (for all age groups). The cut-off spatial frequencies were lower for the deutan carriers than for the normal trichromatic subjects at all age groups.

Conclusions: The results show a decline in sensitivity to chromatic spatial patterns with age, and that deutan carriers have lower sensitivity to chromatic spatial patterns compared with age-matched normal trichromatic subjects.

Keywords: 471 color vision • 478 contrast sensitivity • 648 photoreceptors  

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