Dynamics of rod and cone photoreceptor interactions under mesopic light levels

Maynard, Michelle Lorraine (2012) Dynamics of rod and cone photoreceptor interactions under mesopic light levels. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Visual adaptation regulates contrast sensitivity during dynamically changing light conditions (Crawford, 1947; Hecht, Haig & Chase, 1937). These adaptation dynamics are unknown under dim (mesopic) light levels when the rod (R) and long (L), medium (M) and short (S) wavelength cone photoreceptor classes contribute to vision via interactions in shared non-opponent Magnocellular (MC), chromatically opponent Parvocellular (PC) and Koniocellular (KC) visual pathways (Dacey, 2000). This study investigated the time-course of adaptation and post-receptoral pathways mediating receptor specific rod and cone interactions under mesopic illumination. A four-primary photostimulator (Pokorny, Smithson & Quinlan, 2004) was used to independently control the activity of the four photoreceptor classes and their post-receptoral visual athways in human observers.

In the first experiment, the contrast sensitivity and time-course of visual adaptation under mesopic illumination were measured for receptoral (L, S, R) and post-receptoral (LMS, LMSR, L-M) stimuli. An incremental (Rapid-ON) sawtooth conditioning pulse biased detection to ON-cells within the visual pathways and sensitivity was assayed relative to pulse onset using a briefly presented incremental probe that did not alter adaptation. Cone.Cone interactions with luminance stimuli (L cone, LMS, LMSR) reduced sensitivity by 15% and the time course of recovery was 25± 5ms-1 (μ ± SEM). PC mediated (+L-M) chromatic stimuli sensitivity loss was less (8%) than for luminance and recovery was slower (μ = 2.95 ± 0.05 ms-1), with KC mediated (S cone) chromatic stimuli showing a high sensitivity loss (38%) and the slowest recovery time (1.6 ± 0.2 ms-1). Rod-Rod interactions increased sensitivity by 20% and the time course of recovery was 0.7 ± 0.2 ms-1 (μ ± SD). Compared to these interaction types, Rod-Cone interactions reduced sensitivity to a lesser degree (5%) and showed the fastest recovery (μ = 43 ± 7 ms-1).

In the second experiment, rod contribution to the magnocellular, parvocellular and koniocellular post-receptoral pathways under mesopic illumination was determined as a function of incremental stimulus duration and waveform (rectangular; sawtooth) using a rod colour match procedure (Cao, Pokorny & Smith, 2005; Cao, Pokorny, Smith & Zele, 2008a). For a 30% rod increment, a cone match required a decrease in [L/(L+M)] and an increase in [L+M] and [S/(L+M)], giving a greenish-blue and brighter appearance for probe durations of 75 ms or longer. Probe durations less than 75 ms showed an increase in [L+M] and no change in chromaticity [L/(L+M) or S/(L+M)], uggesting mediation by the MC pathway only for short duration rod stimuli.

s We advance previous studies by determining the time-course and nature of photoreceptor specific retinal interactions in the three post-receptoral pathways under mesopic illumination. In the first experiment, the time-course of adaptation for ON cell processing was determined, revealing opponent cell facilitation in chromatic PC and KC pathways. The Rod-Rod and Rod-Cone data identify previously unknown interaction types that act to maintain contrast sensitivity during dynamically changing light conditions and improve the speed of light adaptation under mesopic light levels. The second experiment determined the degree of rod contribution to the inferred post-eceptoral pathways as a function of the temporal properties of the rod signal.

r The understanding of the mechanisms underlying interactions between photoreceptors under mesopic illumination has implications for the study of retinal disease. Visual function has been shown to be reduced in persons with age-related maculopathy (ARM) risk genotypes prior to clinical signs of the disease (Feigl, Cao, Morris & Zele, 2011) and disturbances in rod-mediated adaptation have been shown in early phases of ARM (Dimitrov, Guymer, Zele, Anderson & Vingrys, 2008; Feigl, Brown, Lovie-Kitchin & Swann, 2005). Also, the understanding of retinal networks controlling vision enables the development of international lighting standards to optimise visual performance nder dim light levels (e.g. work-place environments, transportation).

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ID Code: 52772
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Feigl, Beatrix & Zele, Andrew J.
Keywords: mesopic, photoreceptor, adaptation, rod-cone interaction, temporal dynamics, conditioning pulse, test probe, Magnocellular (MC), Parvocellular (PC), Koniocellular (KC) post-receptoral pathways
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 26 Jul 2012 07:31
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:13

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