Rapid method for assessing rod function using recovery of spatial contrast thresholds following a bleach



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Puell Marín, María Cinta and Kelly, Jeremiah M. F. and Murray, Ian J. (2014) Rapid method for assessing rod function using recovery of spatial contrast thresholds following a bleach. Experimental Eye Research, 125 . pp. 256-261. ISSN 0014-4835

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2014.06.021


Poor vision in low light is a common complaint of elderly people. This poorly understood phenomenon is likely to involve both receptoral and post receptoral mechanisms. We investigated the recovery of contrast thresholds for sine-wave gratings of low spatial frequencies and low mean luminance as a function of time in darkness after photo pigment bleaching. Thirteen subjects aged 30.4 (±10.7) years took part in the study. Contrast thresholds were measured for 15min following almost complete photo pigment bleaching. The stimuli were achromatic sinusoidal gratings of 0.5, 1 and 2 cycle per degree (cpd) generated on a CRT monitor. They had mean luminance 0.01cdm-2 and subtended 10° in diameter. The dynamics of the recovery at each spatial frequency were modelled using monophasic and biphasic exponential decay functions. The data were best modelled by a bi-phasic decay with a distinct transition point around 7min after the bleach. Both phases followed an exponential decay. The time constant (mean, standard error) for the first phase was 0.35 (0.04) minwhile for the second phase it was 5.15 (0.27) min. This difference was statistically significant (p<0.001). A control experiment revealed the second, slower phase was mediated by rod photoreceptors. Maximum contrast sensitivity was reached 15min after a photic bleach. The dynamics of contrast sensitivity recovery follow two phases and these may be attributed to the cone and rod systems.

Item Type:Article
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Received 4 April 2014, Accepted 27 June 2014, Available online 9 July 2014

Uncontrolled Keywords:Dark adaptation; Recovery sensitivity; Contrast threshold; Photobleach; Mesopic contrast sensitivity; Cones; Rods
Subjects:Medical sciences > Optics > Optometry
Medical sciences > Optics > Eyes anatomy
ID Code:41001
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 08:55
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 08:59

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