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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 70, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1980
  • pp: 121–123

Blue-sensitive cones do not contribute to luminance

Alvin Eisner and Donald I. A. MacLeod  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 70, Issue 1, pp. 121-123 (1980)

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By using violet backgrounds we selectively altered blue-cone sensitivity but found no change in flicker photometric sensitivity. This indicates defined by flicker photometry.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

Alvin Eisner and Donald I. A. MacLeod, "Blue-sensitive cones do not contribute to luminance," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 121-123 (1980)

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  1. J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, "On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries," Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
  2. P. L. Walraven, "A closer look at the tritanopic convergence point," Vision Res. 14, 1339–1343 (1974).
  3. V. C. Smith and J. Pokorny, "Spectral sensitivity of the foveal cone photopigments between 400 and 500 nm," Vision Res. 15, 161–171 (1975).
  4. G. Wagner and R. M. Boynton, "A comparison of four methods of heterochromatic photometry," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 1508–1515 (1972).
  5. B. W. Tansley and R. M. Boynton, "Chromatic border perception: the role of red- and green-sensitive cones," Vision Res. 18, 683–697 (1978).
  6. W. D. Wright, "The characteristics of tritanopia," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 509–521 (1952).
  7. M. Ikeda and H. Shimizono, "Luminous efficiency functions determined by successive brightness matching," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 1767–1771 (1978).
  8. These wavelengths were selected for each observer as producing the same ratio of red to green cone excitation on the basis of their similar appearance when viewed side by side in a bipartite field upon a 30 td 420 nm background which desensitized the blue cones. When AE searched for a wavelength to match 439 nm under these conditions, the range of matches included 492 nm. 439 nm and 492 nm also agree well with Walraven's summary of tritanopic metamers (Ref. 2) as well as being concordant with Smith and Pokorny's estimates of M and L. For the anomalous observer, 510 nm was near the center of the matching range. We determined that a 30 td 420 nm background has at most a small effect on the relative red versus green cone contributions to luminance, so the choice of wavelengths is not very critical: an error of up to 10 nm in the chosen test for the normal observers would produce only negligible deviations in the data. The latitude for the deuteranomalous observer is even greater.
  9. G. S. Brindley, J. J. DuCroz, and W. A. H. Rushton, "The flicker fusion frequency of the blue sensitive mechanism of colour vision," J. Physiol. (London) 183, 497–500 (1966). D. H. Kelly, "Spatiotemporal frequency characteristics of color-vision mechanisms," J. Opt Soc Am. 64, 983–990 (1974). The amply documented inability to detect rapid modulation of blue-cone excitation could be due either to limitations of the receptors themselves or of the pathways through which they must transmit their signals. This distinction is not an essential one here, however, since in either case increasing the flicker frequency should reduce the effectiveness of blue-cone output.
  10. This was ascertained by recording thresholds as a function of time after the bleaching exposure, for a 420-nm test spot upon a 220 td 574 nm background.
  11. In making these predictions we assumed that flicker is minimized when kRR439 + kGG439 + kBB439 = c(kRRλ + kGGλ + kBBλ) where kR, kG, and 2kB reflect red, green, or blue cone sensitivity in the presence of some background and c reflects the radiance the observer must set to minimize flicker. kR is about equal to kG. Rλ, Gλ, and Bλ are taken from either Vos and Walraven1 or Walraven.2 We estimated the depression in red and green cone sensitivities by determining thresholds for detecting 2-Hz flicker of a 492-nm test upon the 420-nm background. We found a total depression, at the highest background luminance, of about 0.4 log unit, to about 40% of the dark adapted sensitivity. To estimate the depression in sensitivity of the blue cons we noted the effects of the various backgrounds on the visibility of 2-Hz chromatic flicker produced by an alternation of standard and equiluminous test. The intensities required for detecting chromatic changes at 2-Hz varied by a factor of at least 8 for AE and at least 10 for DM as a function of background intensity. Thus the background did fulfill its intended function of selectivity depressing blue cone sensitivity.

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