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Sabine Raphael, Donald I. A. MacLeod; Mesopic luminance assessed with minimum motion photometry. Journal of Vision 2011;11(9):14. doi: 10.1167/11.9.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We measured the relative contribution of rods and cones to luminance across a range of photopic, mesopic, and scotopic adaptation levels and at various retinal eccentricities. We isolated the luminance channel by setting motion-based luminance nulls (minimum motion photometry) using annular stimuli. Luminance nulls between differently colored stimuli require equality in a weighted sum of rod and cone excitations. The relative cone weight increases smoothly from the scotopic range, where rods dominate, to photopic levels, where rod influence becomes negligible. The change from rod to cone vision does not occur uniformly over the visual field. The more peripheral the stimulus location, the higher is the light level required for cones to participate strongly. The relative cone contribution can be described by a sigmoid function of intensity, with two parameters that each depend on the eccentricity and spatial frequency of the stimulus. One parameter determines the “meso-mesopic” luminance—the center of the mesopic range, at which rod and cone contributions are balanced. This increases with eccentricity, reflecting an increase in the meso-mesopic luminance from 0.04 scotopic cd/m2 at 2° eccentricity to 0.44 scotopic cd/m2 at 18°. The second parameter represents the slope of the log–log threshold-versus-intensity curve (TVI curve) for rod vision. This parameter inversely scales the width of the mesopic range and increases only slightly with eccentricity (from 0.73 at 2° to 0.78 for vision at 18° off-axis).
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