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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 5, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 2014
  • pp: 1569–1587

Directional sensitivity of the retina: A layered scattering model of outer-segment photoreceptor pigments

Brian Vohnsen  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 5, Issue 5, pp. 1569-1587 (2014)

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Photoreceptor outer segments have been modeled as stacked arrays of discs or membrane infoldings containing visual pigments with light-induced dipole moments. Waveguiding has been excluded so fields diffract beyond the physical boundaries of each photoreceptor cell. Optical reciprocity is used to argue for identical radiative and light gathering properties of pigments to model vision. Two models have been introduced: one a macroscopic model that assumes a uniform pigment density across each layer and another microscopic model that includes the spatial location of each pigment molecule within each layer. Both models result in highly similar directionality at the pupil plane which proves to be insensitive to the exact details of the outer-segment packing being predominantly determined by the first and last contributing layers as set by the fraction of bleaching. The versatility of the microscopic model is demonstrated with an array of examples that includes the Stiles-Crawford effect, visibility of a focused beam of light and the role of defocus.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(290.5870) Scattering : Scattering, Rayleigh
(330.4060) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision modeling
(330.5310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - photoreceptors

ToC Category:
Vision and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: January 6, 2014
Revised Manuscript: March 2, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: April 14, 2014
Published: April 18, 2014

Brian Vohnsen, "Directional sensitivity of the retina: A layered scattering model of outer-segment photoreceptor pigments," Biomed. Opt. Express 5, 1569-1587 (2014)

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