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Cristiane Maria Gomes Martins, Tina Tsai, Mirella Telles Salgueiro Barboni, Marcelo Fernandes da Costa, Balázs Nagy, Dora Fix Ventura, Jan Kremers; The influence of stimulus size on heterochromatic modulation electroretinograms. Journal of Vision 2016;16(8):13. doi: 10.1167/16.8.13.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
When combined with the electroretinogram (ERG), the heterochromatic flicker photometry procedure allows an objective in vivo assessment of postreceptoral activity. Responses evoked at intermediate (approximately 12 Hz) and high (>30 Hz) temporal frequencies reflect the red–green cone opponent (possibly parvocellular) and the luminance (possibly magnocellular) responses, respectively. Previously, we found that cone-isolating stimuli at intermediate temporal frequencies elicited ERG responses with similar amplitudes and phases for different spatial arrangements of the stimuli, whereas response amplitudes at high temporal frequencies were positively correlated with stimulus size. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the influence of stimulus size was confined to cone-isolating stimuli or whether it was a general feature of heterochromatic stimulation. Furthermore, we aimed to determine the smallest spatial extent for a significant response in the two postreceptoral mechanisms. Monocular ERGs were recorded to red–green counterphase modulated sinusoidal stimuli (mean luminance of 200 cd/m2) presented at 12 and 36 Hz at different stimulus sizes. At each stimulus condition, a series of ERGs were recorded with the red-contrast fraction (FR) [FR = CR/(CR + CR)] of the stimulus varying between 0.0 and 1.0. Response amplitudes at 36 Hz changed with FR for all subjects, exhibiting a V-shaped amplitude profile with a minimum close to the psychophysics-based isoluminance, where the ERG phase changed by 180°. As stimulus size decreased, the amplitudes to 36 Hz also decreased. In contrast, amplitudes and phases at 12 Hz generally were constant for all values of FR. These amplitudes were invariant to stimulus sizes larger than 10° but decreased with decreasing stimulus size below 10°. Phase also changed in this range. Thus, luminance pathway ERG responses (36 Hz) show direct dependency on stimulus size, whereas chromatic pathway responses (12 Hz) are independent of the stimulus size above 10°.
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