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Jason C. Park, J. Jason McAnany; Effect of stimulus size and luminance on the rod-, cone-, and melanopsin-mediated pupillary light reflex. Journal of Vision 2015;15(3):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.3.13.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This study determined if the pupillary light reflex (PLR) driven by brief stimulus presentations can be accounted for by the product of stimulus luminance and area (i.e., corneal flux density, CFD) under conditions biased toward the rod, cone, and melanopsin pathways. Five visually normal subjects participated in the study. Stimuli consisted of 1-s short- and long-wavelength flashes that spanned a large range of luminance and angular subtense. The stimuli were presented in the central visual field in the dark (rod and melanopsin conditions) and against a rod-suppressing short-wavelength background (cone condition). Rod- and cone-mediated PLRs were measured at the maximum constriction after stimulus onset whereas the melanopsin-mediated PLR was measured 5–7 s after stimulus offset. The rod- and melanopsin-mediated PLRs were well accounted for by CFD, such that doubling the stimulus luminance had the same effect on the PLR as doubling the stimulus area. Melanopsin-mediated PLRs were elicited only by short-wavelength, large (>16°) stimuli with luminance greater than 10 cd/m2, but when present, the melanopsin-mediated PLR was well accounted for by CFD. In contrast, CFD could not account for the cone-mediated PLR because the PLR was approximately independent of stimulus size but strongly dependent on stimulus luminance. These findings highlight important differences in how stimulus luminance and size combine to govern the PLR elicited by brief flashes under rod-, cone-, and melanopsin-mediated conditions.
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