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Thorsten Hansen, Lars Pracejus, Karl R. Gegenfurtner; Color perception in the intermediate periphery of the visual field. Journal of Vision 2009;9(4):26. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.4.26.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Color perception changes across the visual field. It is best in the fovea and declines in the periphery. Sensitivity to red–green color variations declines more steeply toward the periphery than sensitivity to luminance or blue–yellow colors. It is thought that this decline is due to the increasing size of receptive fields of parvocellular retinal ganglion cells and the unselective or random contribution of L- and M-cones to the receptive field surround. In earlier psychophysical studies it has been found that L − M cone opponency becomes absent above 30 deg. However, physiological experiments in macaque monkeys have shown that midget ganglion cells exist in the intermediate zone of the peripheral retina (20–50 deg) that are strongly cone opponent. Here we explore this contradiction between physiological and psychophysical research, using stimuli of variable size at eccentricities of up to 50 deg. We found that chromatic detection gets worse with increasing eccentricity but is still possible even at large eccentricities. Our results show that chromatic detection at these eccentricities is mediated by cone-opponent mechanisms.
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