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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human photopic vision with only short wavelength cones: post-receptoral properties.

1. Spatial and temporal contrast sensitivities were investigated in two subjects whose photopic vision has been previously shown to be subserved by only short wavelength cones. 2. Spatial contrast sensitivity was uniformly reduced compared with that of the normal trichromatic observer. Peak contrast sensitivity reached 40 which is a factor of 2-3 better than previous estimates and extrapolated acuity was around 15 cycles deg-1. Central, non-aliased grating acuity was between 6-9 cycles deg-1. This declined with eccentricity such that at 20 deg it was around 1 cycle deg-1. 3. The variation in contrast sensitivity across the visual field was measured for a range of different spatial frequencies. It was found to be of the same form as that for the normal trichromat but reduced in overall sensitivity. 4. Temporal contrast sensitivity was measured for two different spatial frequencies and found to exhibit the spatio-temporal covariation which is typical of normal trichromatic vision. Temporal acuity exhibited a strong dependence on illuminance and reached asymptotic values of around 40-45 Hz. While this is more than a factor of two above most previous estimates for the short wavelength receptors of normal vision it agrees with some more recent estimates obtained using a different technique. Temporal resolution was found to be evenly distributed across the visual field. 5. Similarities were found between the post-receptoral properties of these achromats and the properties of the isolated blue mechanism of normal vision and also the properties of normal luminance contrast processing in general. The present results provide an upper bound on the contribution of the short wavelength mechanism to normal vision and also provide a suitable model of its possible contribution to the processing of luminance contrast in the normal visual system.[1]


  1. Human photopic vision with only short wavelength cones: post-receptoral properties. Hess, R.F., Mullen, K.T., Zrenner, E. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (1989) [Pubmed]
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