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Cierra M. Hall, J. Jason McAnany; Luminance noise as a novel approach for measuring contrast sensitivity within the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways. Journal of Vision 2017;17(8):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.8.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This study evaluated the extent to which different types of luminance noise can be used to target selectively the inferred magnocellular (MC) and parvocellular (PC) visual pathways. Letter contrast sensitivity (CS) was measured for three visually normal subjects for letters of different size (0.8°–5.3°) under established paradigms intended to target the MC pathway (steady-pedestal paradigm) and PC pathway (pulsed-pedestal paradigm). Results obtained under these paradigms were compared to those obtained in asynchronous static noise (a field of unchanging luminance noise) and asynchronous dynamic noise (a field of randomly changing luminance noise). CS was measured for letters that were high- and low-pass filtered using a range of filter cutoffs to quantify the object frequency information (cycles per letter) mediating letter identification, which was used as an index of the pathway mediating CS. A follow-up experiment was performed to determine the range of letter duration over which MC and PC pathway CS can be targeted. Analysis of variance indicated that the object frequencies measured under the static noise and steady-pedestal paradigms did not differ significantly (p ≥ 0.065), but differed considerably from those measured under the dynamic noise (both p < 0.001) and pulsed-pedestal (both p < 0.001) paradigms. The object frequencies mediating letter identification increased as duration increased under the steady-pedestal paradigm, but were independent of target duration (50–800 ms) under the pulsed-pedestal paradigm, in static noise, and in dynamic noise. These data suggest that the spatiotemporal characteristics of noise can be manipulated to target the inferred MC (static noise) and PC (dynamic noise) pathways. The results also suggest that CS within these pathways can be measured at long stimulus durations, which has potential importance in the design of future clinical CS tests.
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