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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2000
  • pp: 499–509

Flicker-photometric electroretinogram estimates of L:M cone photoreceptor ratio in men with photopigment spectra derived from genetics

Joseph Carroll, Carrie McMahon, Maureen Neitz, and Jay Neitz  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp. 499-509 (2000)

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Relative proportions of long-wavelength-sensitive (L) to middle-wavelength-sensitive (M) cones were estimated by use of the flicker-photometric electroretinogram (ERG). It has been demonstrated that a major source of error in estimates of cone proportions from spectral luminosity functions is the known variation in the λmax of the photopigments [Vision Res. 38, 1961 (1998)]. To correct for these errors, estimates of cone proportions were derived by use of individualized L-cone spectral sensitivity curves deduced from photopigment gene sequences from each subject. For some individuals this correction made a large difference in the estimated cone proportions compared with the value obtained when a fixed standard L cone was assumed. The largest discrepancy occurred in a man estimated to have 62% L cones (L:M ratio 1.6:1) when a standard L pigment was assumed but a value of 80% L cones (L:M ratio 4:1) when his individualized L-cone spectrum was used. From repeated measurements made with the ERG, it was determined that individual estimates of the relative L-to-M cone contributions, expressed as %L cones, are usually reliable within ∼2%. The average L:M ratio for 15 male subjects was estimated at 2:1 (67% L cones). Previously, a large range of individual variability was reported for L:M ratios obtained from photometry. An unresolved issue concerns how much of the range might be attributed to error. Here efforts have been taken to markedly reduce measurement error. Nonetheless, a large range of individual differences persists. Estimated L:M ratios for individuals ranged from 0.6:1 to 12:1 (40% L to 92% L).

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - photoreceptors

Original Manuscript: June 21, 1999
Revised Manuscript: October 5, 1999
Manuscript Accepted: July 21, 1999
Published: March 1, 2000

Joseph Carroll, Carrie McMahon, Maureen Neitz, and Jay Neitz, "Flicker-photometric electroretinogram estimates of L:M cone photoreceptor ratio in men with photopigment spectra derived from genetics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 499-509 (2000)

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