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Jeff Mulligan; The Optoretinogram at 38. Journal of Vision 2019;19(8):33. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.8.33.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
As early as 1980, Donald MacLeod coined the term “optoretinogram” to describe a change in the near-infrared reflectance of the retina following visual stimulation. The hope that such signals might exist was stimulated by an observation of a change in the infrared transmission of isolated toad retinae (Harary, Brown & Pinto, 1978). This signal showed a time course of several seconds, much slower than the electroretinogram, and was thought to be related to some chemical step in the phototransduction cascade. During the early 1980’s, we made several attempts to observe such signals in vivo in humans, without success. In the intervening decades, however, researchers have succeeded in observing what are now known as “intrinsic optical signals” or IOSs. Responses from single photoreceptors (obtained using adaptive optics) are surprisingly heterogenous, with some cells increasing their reflectance in response to visual stimulation, while others decrease (Cooper et al., 2017). This talk will review our early work, survey recent findings, and consider various theories for the origin of the effect.
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