October 1989
Volume 30, Issue 10
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Articles  |   October 1989
The effect of background luminance on cone sensitivity functions.
Author Affiliations
  • T Yeh
    University of Chicago, Eye Research Laboratories, IL.
  • V C Smith
    University of Chicago, Eye Research Laboratories, IL.
  • J Pokorny
    University of Chicago, Eye Research Laboratories, IL.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science October 1989, Vol.30, 2077-2086. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      T Yeh, V C Smith, J Pokorny; The effect of background luminance on cone sensitivity functions.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(10):2077-2086.

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

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Abstract

Implementations of the Wald-Marré technique have employed fixed luminance backgrounds to isolate cone sensitivity mechanisms. We evaluated the effect of varying the adaptation level on the relative isolation of the different cone types. For MWS and LWS cone isolation we used a 15 Hz flickering test light to isolate the achromatic channel, and we modelled the resulting spectral sensitivity functions as a linear sum of LWS and MWS input. We found only mild improvement in relative cone isolation with increasing adaptation level. The LWS and MWS cone mechanisms showed decreasing sensitivity with adaptation level and reached limiting Weber behavior above 1000 Td. SWS cones were isolated with a 2.4 Hz flickering light. SWS cone isolation improved with adapting level, reaching a plateau above 1000 Td. The SWS cone mechanism showed decreasing sensitivity with adaptation level but did not reach a limiting Weber region. Our data indicate that the use of fixed high adaptation levels has different effects on the cone mechanisms. Absolute sensitivity loss for LWS or MWS mechanism will not be revealed. LWS and MWS thresholds will appear normal unless there is an adaptation abnormality. On the other hand, the SWS cone thresholds would be sensitive to both absolute and increment sensitivity loss. More than one adaptation condition is needed to separate different types of sensitivity loss characteristic of eye disease.

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