Effect of background luminance on visual responses to strong flashes : perceived brightness and the early rise of photoreceptor responses

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http://hdl.handle.net/1975/937

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Vision Research. 1996. 36: 3253-3264.

Title: Effect of background luminance on visual responses to strong flashes : perceived brightness and the early rise of photoreceptor responses
Author: Djupsund, K.; Fyhrquist, N.; Hariyama, T.; Donner, K.
Contributor organization: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Bio- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos
Bio- och miljövetenskaper, Institutionen för
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 1996
Language: eng
ISSN: 0042-6989
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/0042-6989(96)00021-1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1975/937
Abstract: The threshold intensity for large-long incremental stimuli rises proportionally to adapting background luminance IB (Weber adaptation), but the intensity required to evoke a criterion high-brightness sensation rises much less steeply. We propose that this difference originates in the very first stage of visual processing, in the phototransduction and adaptation properties of the retinal photoreceptor cells. A physiological model previously found to account for visual latency and brightness as functions of stimulus intensity in the dark-adapted state [Donner, K. (1989). Visual Neuroscience, 3, 39–51] is extended to cover different states of adaptation. It is assumed that the neural coding of high intensities is based on the rate of rise (quasi-derivative) of the photoreceptor response just after it reaches a small threshold amplitude. The shallow background adaptation functions for high-brightness criteria emerge as a consequence of the relative constancy of the leading edge of large responses under backgrounds, a phenomenon that can be formally described by compensating changes in photoreceptor sensitivity and time scale. We first test the model on supra-threshold responses in the frog retina, where the discharge rate of ganglion cells (a possible neural code for brightness) and the primary rod hyperpolarizations can be recorded under identical conditions. The two are related as predicted over at least 3 log units of background intensity. We then show that published data on the background adaptation of human foveal high brightness judgments conform to the same model, assuming that human cones accelerate as IB−b with b = 0.14–0.15.
Subject: Retina
Brightness
Light adaptation
Photoreceptors
Ganglion cells
Visual psychophysics


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