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Barry B. Lee, William H. Swanson; Detection and discrimination of achromatic contrast: A ganglion cell perspective. Journal of Vision 2022;22(8):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.8.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The magnocellular (MC) pathway in the primate has much higher achromatic contrast sensitivity than the parvocellular (PC) pathway, and is implicated in luminance contrast detection. But MC pathway responses tend to saturate at lower achromatic contrast than do PC pathway responses. It has been proposed that the PC pathway plays a major role in discriminating suprathreshold achromatic contrast, because the MC pathway is in saturation. This has been termed the pulsed-pedestal protocol. To test this hypothesis, responses of MC and PC pathway ganglion cells have been examined under suprathreshold conditions with stimulus configurations similar to those in psychophysical tests. For MC cells, response saturation was much less for flashed or moving edges than for sinusoidal modulation, and MC cell thresholds predicted for these stimuli were similar to psychophysical discrimination (and detection) data. Results suggest the protocol is not effective in segregating MC and PC function.
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