Electrophysiological and psychophysical CSFs correlated more positively when temporal presentation was similar. Spatial frequencies higher than 2 cpd showed that at least two visual pathways sum their activities at high contrasts. At low contrast levels, the results suggest that the transient VEP is dominated by the magnocellular (M) pathway.
We investigated how the stimulation mode influences transient visual evoked potentials (tVEP) amplitude as a function of contrast of achromatic and isoluminant chromatic gratings. The chromatic stimulation probed only responses to the red-green axis. Visual stimuli were monocularly presented in a 5 degrees diameter circle, achromatic and chromatic horizontal gratings, 1 Hz pattern reversal stimulation, and achromatic and chromatic gratings, 300 ms onset per 700 ms offset stimulation. For the achromatic pattern reversal stimulation, a double slope function describes how the P100 amplitude varied as a function of log contrast which had a limb at low-to-medium contrasts and another limb at high contrasts. For the achromatic onset/offset stimulation, C2 amplitude saturated at the highest contrast tested and a single straight line described how it changed along most of the contrast range. Both presentation modes for chromatic gratings resulted in amplitude versus log contrast relations which were well described by single straight lines along most of the contrast range. The results may be interpreted as if at 2 cpd, achromatic pattern reversal stimulation evoked the activity of at least two visual pathways with high and low contrast sensitivity, respectively, while achromatic onset/offset stimulation favored the activity of a pathway with high contrast sensitivity. The neural activity in the M pathway is the best candidate to be the high contrast mechanism detected with pattern reversal and pattern onset/offset VEPs. The activity of color opponent pathways such as the P and K pathways either combined or in isolation seems to be responsible for VEPs obtained with isoluminant chromatic gratings at both presentation modes. When the amplitudes of chromatic VEPs were plotted in the same contrast scale as used for achromatic VEPs, chromatic contrast thresholds had similar values to those of the achromatic mechanism with high contrast sensitivity.
We studied the spatial arrangement of L- and M-cone driven electroretinograms (ERGs) reflecting the activity of magno- and parvocellular pathways. L- and M-cone isolating sine wave stimuli were created with a four primary LED stimulator using triple silent substitution paradigms. Temporal frequencies were 8 and 12 Hz, to reflect cone opponent activity, and 30, 36 and 48 Hz to reflect luminance activity. The responses were measured for full-field stimuli and for different circular and annular stimuli. The ERG data confirm the presence of two different mechanisms at intermediate and high temporal frequencies. The responses measured at high temporal frequencies strongly depended upon spatial stimulus configuration. In the full-field conditions, the L-cone driven responses were substantially larger than the full-field M-cone driven responses and also than the L-cone driven responses with smaller stimuli. The M-cone driven responses at full-field and with 70° diameter stimuli displayed similar amplitudes. The L- and M-cone driven responses measured at 8 and 12 Hz were of similar amplitude and approximately in counter-phase. The amplitudes were constant for most stimulus configurations. The results indicate that, when the ERG reflects luminance activity, it is positively correlated with stimulus size. Beyond 35° retinal eccentricity, the retina mainly contains L-cones. Small stimuli are sufficient to obtain maximal ERGs at low temporal frequencies where the ERGs are also sensitive to cone-opponent processing.
It would be informative to have an electrophysiological method to study, in an objective way, the effects of mercury exposure and other neurotoxics on human color vision performance. The purpose of the present work was to study human color discrimination by measuring chromatic difference thresholds with visual evoked potential (VEP). Six young normal trichromats (24 +/- 1 years old) and one deutan (26 years old) were tested. The stimuli consisted of sinusoidal isoluminant chromatic gratings made from chromaticity pairs located along four different color directions centered on two reference points. Heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) protocol was used to obtain the isoluminance condition for every subject and for all chromaticity pairs. Spatial frequency was 2 cycles/deg. Presentation mode comprised onset (300 ms)/offset (700 ms) periods. As previously described, we found a negative deflection in the VEP which was related to the chromatic difference: as chromatic difference increased, amplitude increased and latency decreased. VEP response amplitude was plotted against distance in the CIE 1976 color space between the grating chromaticities and fitted with a regression line. We found color thresholds by extrapolating the fitting to null amplitude values. The thresholds were plotted in the CIE 1976 color space as MacAdam ellipses. In normal trichromats the ellipses had small size, low ellipticity, and were vertically oriented. In the deutan subject, the ellipses had large size, high ellipticity, and were oriented towards the deutan copunctal locus. The VEP thresholds were similar to those obtained using grating stimuli and psychophysical procedures, however smaller than those obtained using pseudoisochromatic stimuli (Mollon-Reffin method). We concluded that transient VEP amplitude as a function of contrast can be reliably used in objective studies of chromatic discrimination performance in normal and altered human subjects.
BackgroundLuminance contrast sensitivity and colour vision are considered to have great predictive value in the evaluation of type 2 diabetic retinopathy. However, these two visual characteristics have seldom been investigated in the same group of patients. In the present study we measured contrast sensitivity and colour vision in a group of patients with type 2 diabetes and correlated the results with estimates of common metabolic markers for the disease. A subgroup of the patients had no clinical signs of retinopathy.MethodsThe vision of 27 patients (n = 50 eyes) with type 2 diabetes, with retinopathy (n = 20 eyes), or without retinopathy (n = 30 eyes) were evaluated using two psychophysical tests, the Farnsworth–Munsell 100 hue test (FM 100), and measurements of the luminance contrast sensitivity at 11 spatial frequencies. The results were compared with measurements obtained from an age-matched control group (n = 32), and were correlated with the level of glycated haemoglobin, glycaemic level, and time of disease onset. Signs of retinopathy were identified during the ophthalmological examinations.ResultsContrast sensitivity and colour vision impairments were present at different levels in diabetes patients. Eyes with retinopathy showed more severe vision loss than eyes without retinopathy. The FM 100 test was more sensitive for separation of patients from controls. Colour vision loss had no colour axes preference. The contrast sensitivity test appeared to have some advantage in differentiating patients with retinopathy from patients without retinopathy.ConclusionsBoth methods can be useful to follow the visual function of diabetic patients and should be used together to discriminate patients from controls, as well as to identify early signs of retinal damage.
No presente estudo, foram avaliados comparativamente os níveis atuais de exposição ao mercúrio e as manifestações neurológicas em ribeirinhos residentes em comunidades situadas no Estado do Pará, Brasil. Participaram do estudo 78 ribeirinhos de Barreiras (bacia do rio Tapajós), 30 de São Luiz do Tapajós (bacia do rio Tapajós) e 49 do Furo do Maracujá (bacia do rio Tocantins). As concentrações de mercúrio total foram quantificadas, em cabelo, pela espectrofotometria de absorção atômica, e a avaliação neurológica foi realizada por meio de testes de rotina. As concentrações de mercúrio nas comunidades do Tapajós foram maiores que as do Tocantins (p < 0,01). A avaliação das alterações neurológicas não mostrou diferença significativa entre as comunidades das áreas expostas e controle para os resultados observados pelo exame neurológico convencional, exceto para desvio da marcha (p < 0,05). Concluiu-se que, apesar dos níveis de exposição ao mercúrio, houve uma baixa frequência de alterações somatossensoriais encontradas por meio de exames neurológicos convencionais.
Alcohol consumption among young adults is widely accepted in modern society and may be the starting point for abusive use of alcohol at later stages of life. Chronic alcohol exposure can lead to visual function impairment. In the present study, we investigated the spatial luminance contrast sensitivity, colour arrangement ability, and colour discrimination thresholds on young adults that weekly consume alcoholic beverages without clinical concerns. Twenty-four young adults were evaluated by an ophthalmologist and performed three psychophysical tests to evaluate their vision functions. We estimated the spatial luminance contrast sensitivity function at 11 spatial frequencies ranging from 0.1 to 30 cycles/degree. No difference in contrast sensitivity was observed comparing alcohol consumers and control subjects. For the evaluation of colour vision, we used the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test (FM 100 test) to test subject’s ability to perform a colour arrangement task and the Mollon-Reffin test (MR test) to measure subject’s colour discrimination thresholds. Alcohol consumers made more mistakes than controls in the FM100 test, and their mistakes were diffusely distributed in the FM colour space without any colour axis preference. Alcohol consumers also performed worse than controls in the MR test and had higher colour discrimination thresholds compared to controls around three different reference points of a perceptually homogeneous colour space, the CIE 1976 chromaticity diagram. There was no colour axis preference in the threshold elevation observed among alcoholic subjects. Young adult weekly alcohol consumers showed subclinical colour vision losses with preservation of spatial luminance contrast sensitivity. Adolescence and young adult age are periods of important neurological development and alcohol exposure during this period of life might be responsible for deficits in visual functions, especially colour vision that is very sensitive to neurotoxicants.
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