Cone signals and activity in myopia and emmetropia

Zhou, Nanyu (2013) Cone signals and activity in myopia and emmetropia. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Myopia (short-sightedness) is a common ocular disorder of children and young adults. Studies primarily using animal models have shown that the retina controls eye growth and the outer retina is likely to have a key role. One theory is that the proportion of L (long-wavelength-sensitive) and M (medium-wavelength-sensitive) cones is related to myopia development; with a high L/M cone ratio predisposing individuals to myopia. However, not all dichromats (persons with red-green colour vision deficiency) with extreme L/M cone ratios have high refractive errors. We predict that the L/M cone ratio will vary in individuals with normal trichromatic colour vision but not show a systematic difference simply due to refractive error. The aim of this study was to determine if L/M cone ratios in the central 30° are different between myopic and emmetropic young, colour normal adults.

Information about L/M cone ratios was determined using the multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP). The mfVEP can be used to measure the response of visual cortex to different visual stimuli. The visual stimuli were generated and measurements performed using the Visual Evoked Response Imaging System (VERIS 5.1). The mfVEP was measured when the L and M cone systems were separately stimulated using the method of silent substitution. The method of silent substitution alters the output of three primary lights, each with physically different spectral distributions to control the excitation of one or more photoreceptor classes without changing the excitation of the unmodulated photoreceptor classes. The stimulus was a dartboard array subtending 30° horizontally and 30° vertically on a calibrated LCD screen. The m-sequence of the stimulus was 215-1. The N1-P1 amplitude ratio of the mfVEP was used to estimate the L/M cone ratio.

Data were collected for 30 young adults (22 to 33 years of age), consisting of 10 emmetropes (+0.3±0.4 D) and 20 myopes (–3.4±1.7 D). The stimulus and analysis techniques were confirmed using responses of two dichromats. For the entire participant group, the estimated central L/M cone ratios ranged from 0.56 to 1.80 in the central 3°-13° diameter ring and from 0.94 to 1.91 in the more peripheral 13°-30° diameter ring. Within 3°-13°, the mean L/M cone ratio of the emmetropic group was 1.20±0.33 and the mean was similar, 1.20±0.26, for the myopic group. For the 13°-30° ring, the mean L/M cone ratio of the emmetropic group was 1.48±0.27 and it was slightly lower in the myopic group, 1.30±0.27. Independent-samples t-test indicated no significant difference between the L/M cone ratios of the emmetropic and myopic group for either the central 3°-13° ring (p=0.986) or the more peripheral 13°-30° ring (p=0.108).

The similar distributions of estimated L/M cone ratios in the sample of emmetropes and myopes indicates that there is likely to be no association between the L/M cone ratio and refractive error in humans.

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ID Code: 63463
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Schmid, Katrina L., Atchison, David A., Zele, Andrew J., & Brown, Brian
Keywords: colour vision, cones, emmetropia, L/M cone ratios, myopia, multifocal visual evoked potential (mFVEP), retina, visual evoked potential (VEP)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2013 03:12
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 23:02

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