Cone signal contributions to electrograms in dichromats and trichromats

Jan Kremers, Tomoaki Usui, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, Lindsay T. Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE. To find out how the different cone types contribute to the electroretinogram (ERG) by quantifying the contribution of the signal pathways originating in the long (L-) and the middle (M-) wavelength- sensitive cones to the total ERG response amplitude and phase. METHODS. ERG response amplitudes and phases were measured to cone-isolating stimuli and to different combinations of L- and M-cone modulation. Conditions were chosen to exclude any contribution of the short wavelength-sensitive (S-) cones. The sensitivity of the ERG to the L and the M cones was defined as the cone contrast gain. RESULTS. In the present paper, a model is provided that describes the ERG contrast gains and ERG thresholds in dichromats and color normal trichromats. For the X-chromosome-linked dichromats, the contrast gains of only one cone type (either the L or the M cones) sufficed to describe the ERG thresholds for all stimulus conditions. Data suggest that the M-cone contrast gains of protanopes are larger than the L-cone contrast gains of deuteranopes. The response thresholds of the trichromats are modeled by assuming a vector summation of signals originating in the L and the M cones. Their L- and M-cone contrast gains are close to a linear interpolation of the data obtained from the dichromats. Nearly all trichromats had larger L- than M-cone contrast gains. Data from a large population of trichromats were examined to study the individual variations in cone weightings and in the phases of the cone pathway responses. CONCLUSIONS. The data strongly suggest that the missing cone type in dichromats is replaced by the remaining cone type. The mean L-cone to M-cone weighting ratio in trichromats was found to be approximately 4:1. But there is a substantial interindividual variability between trichromats. The response phases of the L- and the M- cone pathways can be reliably quantified using the response phases to the cone-isolating stimuli or using a vector addition of L- and M-cone signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-930
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume40
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 13 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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