Temporal Visual Mechanisms May Mediate Compensation for Macular Pigment.


Journal Article

Macular pigment (MP) is a pre-receptoral filter that is diet derived and deposited in relatively high optical density in the foveal region of the retina. Due to its yellow coloration, MP absorbs light of relatively short wavelengths, ranging from 400 nm to 520 nm. Despite the spectral and spatial nonuniformity imposed upon the sensory retina by MP, perception appears to be relatively uniform across the central visual field. MP therefore offers an opportunity to determine experimentally potential mechanisms responsible for mediating this uniformity. After assessing, in 14 subjects, MP's effects on the temporal sensitivity of both the short-wavelength- and middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive visual pathways, it appears that the visual system compensates for absorption of short-wavelength light by MP by slowing the sampling rate of short-wavelength cones and by increasing the processing speed of middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive cones. This mechanism could work via temporal summation or a temporal neural code, whereby slower response dynamics lead to amplification of relatively weak signals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stringham, NT; Stringham, JM

Published Date

  • December 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1400 - 1415

PubMed ID

  • 26562864

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26562864

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0301-0066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0301006615607119


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States