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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 56, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1966
  • pp: 111–115

Effect of Wavelength and Bandwidth of Red Light on Recovery of Dark Adaptation

MARY M. CONNORS  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 56, Issue 1, pp. 111-115 (1966)

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Recovery curves were run following 1- and 5-min adaptation to wavelengths ranging from 595 to 670 mµ taken at 15-mµ intervals at a luminance of 100 ft-L. The effects of near-monochromatic and broad band-widths were investigated. Recovery curves are in terms of time necessary to return to a predetermined dark-adapted threshold and to stated values above that threshold.

After one minute of adaptation to a light of 610 mµ, recovery is faster than after exposure to an equally bright light of 595 mµ. Lengthening the wavelength causes no further reduction in recovery time. After five minutes of similar adaptation, recovery time is progressively shortened by lengthening the wavelength to 640 mµ. Further increases in wavelength result in recovery times equivalent to those of the 640-mµ adaptation. Spreading the bandwidth from near monochromatic to 30 mµ has no effect on subsequent recovery, although further broadening the bandwidth to include the shorter wavelengths results in reduced sensitivity for the 595-mµ setting. These findings are consistent with luminosity theory.

MARY M. CONNORS, "Effect of Wavelength and Bandwidth of Red Light on Recovery of Dark Adaptation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 111-115 (1966)

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  1. S. Hecht and Y. Hsia, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35, 261 (1945).
  2. G. Wald, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 50, 633 (1960); W. A. H. Rushton, J. Physiol. 156, 166 (1961).
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  5. An exception to this general procedure is found in Hulburt, Ref. 4. For three wavelengths in the visible spectrum, monochromatic light was used.
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  8. The scotopic threshold which was measured following each dark-adaptation period and prior to the experimental runs was found to vary slightly for an observer from day to day. Since it is unreasonable to expect that, for example, following light exposure, an observer will recover to a level more sensitive than his original scotopic level, a relative threshold was considered most appropriate. The predetermined scotopic threshold for each session was taken as the most meaningful termination point and all such thresholds are considered psychologically equivalent, although there may be minor variations in absolute luminances. Therefore, the results given in Figs. 2–5 are expressed in terms of the time necessary to return to the termination point and to relative steps above this final threshold. The abscissa values are the differences between the wedge-setting at which the stimulus was seen and the final threshold wedge setting. Each wedge setting represents a change of approximately 0.125 log units.
  9. S. Hecht and Y. Hsia, Ref. 1, p. 263.
  10. F. A. Mote, G. E. Briggs, and K. M. Michels, J. Exptl. Psychol. 38, 69 (1954); S. Hecht and J. Mandelbaum, J. Am. Med. Assoc. 112, 1910 (1939).
  11. International Commission on Illumination Note, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 734 (1951); D. B. Judd, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 23, 359 (1933).

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