July 1976
Volume 15, Issue 7
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Articles  |   July 1976
An acquired color defect of the opponent-color system.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 1976, Vol.15, 584-587. doi:https://doi.org/
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      P E King-Smith, K Kranda, I C Wood; An acquired color defect of the opponent-color system.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1976;15(7):584-587. doi: https://doi.org/.

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

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Abstract

An acquired unilateral color defect in a 22-year-old man has been investigated with standard clinical tests and by using techniques which, it is thought, test specifically for the sensitivity of the luminance and opponent-color systems. The spectral sensitivity of the defective left eye, using 1 degree 200 ms. test flashes on a white background, has a single broad peak at about 550 nm. and resembles the photopic luminosity curve; in contrast, the normal curve, measured in the same conditions, has three peaks at about 440, 520, and 600 nm. However, the subject's spectral sensitivity curve for detecting 20 Hz. flicker is quite normal and is similar to his curve for 200 ms. flashes. It has recently been proposed that the three peaks of the normal curve for 200 ms. flashes reflect the activity of the opponent-color system, whereas the single peak for flicker detection is related to the luminance system. The preceding observations may thus be interpreted in terms of a specific loss of the subject's opponent-color system and this would explain his poor color discrimination. His luminance system appears to be normal, and evidence is presented for the maintained function of red- and green-sensitive (but not blue-sensitive) cones. The spectral sensitivity of the subject's right eye is nearly normal, suggesting a precortical origin of the defect; however, there seems to be some abnormality in this eye, indicating a less developed form of the same defect.

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