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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 15, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 1998
  • pp: 340–348

The area of complete scotopic spatial summation enlarges with age

Brooke E. Schefrin, Michelle L. Bieber, Ryan McLean, and John S. Werner  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 340-348 (1998)

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The maximal area of complete scotopic spatial summation (Ricco’s area) was determined for 50 subjects ranging in age from 19 to 87 yr. Increment thresholds were measured for 10-ms, 520-nm circular test lights of varying diameters that were superimposed and concentric with a 10°, 640-nm circular background. The test lights were imaged in Maxwellian view along the horizontal meridian, 6° nasal from a foveal fixation point. The results demonstrate a statistically significant enlargement of Ricco’s area with age. The average angular subtenses of Ricco’s areas for the ten youngest (mean=26 yr) and ten oldest (mean=75 yr) observers were approximately 48 and 69 arc min, respectively. Model simulations based on a series of optical transfer functions of the eye and varying degrees of intraocular light scatter for younger and older observers show that preneural factors cannot account for these results. Therefore changes in neural mechanisms must be invoked to explain the enlargement in the size of Ricco’s area under scotopic conditions.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.0330) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision, color, and visual optics
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
(330.6130) Vision, color, and visual optics : Spatial resolution
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

Original Manuscript: May 12, 1997
Revised Manuscript: August 11, 1997
Manuscript Accepted: August 15, 1997
Published: February 1, 1998

Brooke E. Schefrin, Michelle L. Bieber, Ryan McLean, and John S. Werner, "The area of complete scotopic spatial summation enlarges with age," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 340-348 (1998)

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