Abstract

Electrical responses of the human retina have been measured by the use of an electrode mounted on a contact lens. The form and magnitude of such responses have been determined for stimulation by filtered lights having various dominant wave-lengths. Two sets of spectral sensitivity data, one for the dark-adapted eye and the other for the light-adapted, have been obtained by computing the intensity of stimulation necessary at each wave-length to arouse an electrical response of a given small magnitude. Comparable data have been obtained in psychophysical experiments in which the same filter combinations and closely similar methods of computation have been employed. The electrical data, for both the light-adapted and the dark-adapted eye, agree much more closely with the psychophysically determined scotopic sensitivity curve than with the photopic. It appears, however, that lights of the shorter wave-lengths are somewhat more effective in arousing electrical responses than the scotopic sensitivity curve would predict.

© 1949 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |
  • |
  • |

  1. L A. Riggs, Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. Med. 48, 204 (1941).
    [Crossref]
  2. I.E.S. Lighting Handbook (Illuminating Engineering Society, New York, 1947).
  3. W. S. Stiles and T. Smith, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 56, 251 (1944).
    [Crossref]
  4. G. Wald, Science 101, 653 (1945).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  5. See Reference 1 above.
  6. D. R. Griffin, R. Hubbard, and G. Wald, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 546 (1947).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  7. We are indebted to Professor H. E. Farnsworth of the Department of Physics, Brown University, for lending us the pyrometer used in these experiments.
  8. G. P. Harnwell and J. J. Livingood, Experimental Atomic Physics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1933), p. 206.
  9. It may be noted here that some erroneous filter calibrations were made earlier on a G. E. recording spectrophotometer. This instrument, as Middleton has recently pointed out [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 74 (1948)], is unsuited unless specially modified for the measurement of transmission of samples which have a high specular reflectance.
    [Crossref]
  10. See Reference 3 above.
  11. E. D. Adrian, J. Physiol. 104, 84 (1945),and J. Physiol. 105, 24 (1946).
  12. E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).
  13. L. A. Riggs and E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).
  14. These curves have been redrawn from those appearing in the original articles, References 4 and 3 above, respectively. For purposes of comparison a sensitivity of unity has been assigned to all values at 509 mμ.
  15. See Reference 4 above.
  16. Benford, Lloyd, and Schwarz, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 445 (1948).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]

1948 (2)

1947 (1)

1945 (2)

G. Wald, Science 101, 653 (1945).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

E. D. Adrian, J. Physiol. 104, 84 (1945),and J. Physiol. 105, 24 (1946).

1944 (1)

W. S. Stiles and T. Smith, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 56, 251 (1944).
[Crossref]

1941 (1)

L A. Riggs, Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. Med. 48, 204 (1941).
[Crossref]

Adrian, E. D.

E. D. Adrian, J. Physiol. 104, 84 (1945),and J. Physiol. 105, 24 (1946).

Benford,

Griffin, D. R.

Harnwell, G. P.

G. P. Harnwell and J. J. Livingood, Experimental Atomic Physics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1933), p. 206.

Hubbard, R.

Johnson, E. P.

E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).

L. A. Riggs and E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).

Livingood, J. J.

G. P. Harnwell and J. J. Livingood, Experimental Atomic Physics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1933), p. 206.

Lloyd,

Riggs, L A.

L A. Riggs, Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. Med. 48, 204 (1941).
[Crossref]

Riggs, L. A.

L. A. Riggs and E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).

Schwarz,

Smith, T.

W. S. Stiles and T. Smith, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 56, 251 (1944).
[Crossref]

Stiles, W. S.

W. S. Stiles and T. Smith, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 56, 251 (1944).
[Crossref]

Wald, G.

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (3)

J. Physiol. (1)

E. D. Adrian, J. Physiol. 104, 84 (1945),and J. Physiol. 105, 24 (1946).

Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. (1)

W. S. Stiles and T. Smith, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. 56, 251 (1944).
[Crossref]

Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. Med. (1)

L A. Riggs, Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. Med. 48, 204 (1941).
[Crossref]

Science (1)

G. Wald, Science 101, 653 (1945).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (9)

See Reference 1 above.

I.E.S. Lighting Handbook (Illuminating Engineering Society, New York, 1947).

See Reference 3 above.

We are indebted to Professor H. E. Farnsworth of the Department of Physics, Brown University, for lending us the pyrometer used in these experiments.

G. P. Harnwell and J. J. Livingood, Experimental Atomic Physics (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1933), p. 206.

E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).

L. A. Riggs and E. P. Johnson, J. Exper. Psych., in press (1949).

These curves have been redrawn from those appearing in the original articles, References 4 and 3 above, respectively. For purposes of comparison a sensitivity of unity has been assigned to all values at 509 mμ.

See Reference 4 above.

Cited By

OSA participates in Crossref's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (13)

F. 1
F. 1

A schematic drawing (not to scale) of the apparatus used to provide visual stimulation. A—tungsten filament source; B—filters in rotary mounts; C—first pair of collimating lenses; D—diaphragm; E—rotary shutter or flicker vane; F—fixation point; G—glass plane for viewing fixation point; H—second pair of collimating lenses; J—bowl-shaped adapting screen; K—the eye; L—tungsten filament source for illuminating flicker vane; M—collimating lens; N—variable density wedges.

F. 2
F. 2

Calculated values of RλKλtλ, the scotopic visual effectiveness of the radiation transmitted by the selective filters used in this investigation. Filter 76 is the violet filter of the Wratten monochromatic series. Filter M is composed of a Corning glass filter plus an interference type filter supplied by the Farrand Optical Company. The other filters, which we have arbitrarily designated by capital letters, are Farrand interference type filters. The dotted line bisects the area under each curve. It denotes the “center of gravity” wave-length for each filter. In drawing each of the curves the value of RλKλtλ has been multiplied by a factor as follows: M—2000; K—400; 76—1000; I—40; H—40; G—20; F—40; E—40; C—1000; B—4000.

F. 3
F. 3

Calculated values of Rλkλtλ, the photopic visual effectiveness of the radiation transmitted by the filters used in this investigation. Each value has been multiplied by a factor as follows: 76—10,000; H—100; G—20; F—20; E—10; C—40; B—100.

F. 4
F. 4

Log luminous flux (scotopic) for each combination of selective and neutral-density filters. For a filter density of zero (i.e., no neutral-density filter) the value of luminous flux for any of the selective filters is equal to the area under the corresponding scotopic curve of Fig. 2 (∫RλKλtλdλ in arbitrary units).

F. 5
F. 5

Log luminous flux (photopic) for each combination of selective and neutral-density filters. For a filter density of zero (i.e., no neutral-density filter) the value of luminous flux for any of the selective filters is equal to the area under the corresponding photopic curve of Fig. 3 (∫RλKλtλdλ in arbitrary units).

F. 6
F. 6

Photographic records of retinal responses to illumination by white and colored lights of various intensities. In each record time (0.1 sec.) is indicated by the notched horizontal line, the moment of the flash is denoted by the short horizontal line appearing immediately above the time line, and the electrical response is indicated by the oscillographic trace, in which a rise above the baseline indicates an increased positivity of the cornea with respect to the fundus. Filters 76, 75, 73, and 70 are Wratten filters which selectively transmit violet, blue-green, yellow-green, and deep-red light, respectively. Filter C is a Farrand interference type filter transmitting orange-red light. The number appearing over each trace denotes the rated density (logarithmic units) of the Wratten neutral-tint filter employed. The calibration indicates the effect of applying a 300-microvolt square wave to the input of the direct-coupled amplifier. Subject FR; experiments of July 20 and July 22, 1948.

F. 7
F. 7

Height of principal component (B-wave) in retinal responses to white light and to the colored lights of the Wratten monochromatic series. The density of the Wratten neutral density filters is given in logarithmic units. The curves are all parallel to one another with the exception of 76 and 72. The curve for 76 is steeper because the neutral filters absorb blue light more than light of other wave-lengths. The shape of 72 is complicated by the presence of the double-peaked B-wave. Subject LSH; experiments of May 7 and May 14, 1948.

F. 8
F. 8

Log sensitivity as indicated by electrical responses of the dark-adapted eye. Data plotted from Table I by the method described in the text. Curve A is the mean scotopic curve of Stiles and Smith. Curve B is the curve of Wald for the peripheral rods.

F. 9
F. 9

Comparative responses of the dark-adapted and light-adapted eye. Subject LML; experiments of June 17, August 17, August 19, and August 23, 1948.

F. 10
F. 10

Log sensitivity as indicated by electrical responses of the light-adapted eye. Data plotted from Table II by the method described in the text. Curve A is the mean scotopic curve of Stiles and Smith. Curve B is the curve of Wald for the peripheral rods.

F. 11
F. 11

A schematic drawing (not to scale) of the arrangement used in the scotopic matching procedure. A—bowl-shaped adapting screen; B—rays emerging from apparatus shown in Fig. 1;_ C—position of the eye in all other experiments; D—position of the eye in scotopic matching experiments; E—artificial pupil; F—magnesium oxide screen; G— movable tungsten-filament lamp; H—mirror; J—semi-circular aperture for white beam; K—semi-circular aperture for filtered beam.

F. 12
F. 12

Log sensitivity measured by a scotopic matching procedure. Data plotted from Table III by the method described in the text. Curve A is the mean scotopic curve of Stiles and Smith. Curve B is the curve of Wald for the peripheral rods.

F. 13
F. 13

Log sensitivity measured by flicker photometry at a photopic level. Data plotted from Table IV by the method described in the text. Curve A is the I.C.I. photopic luminosity curve. Curve B is the curve of Wald for the foveal cones.

Tables (4)

Tables Icon

Table I Logarithms of luminous flux, ∫RλtλKλdλ to elicit electrical responses of 58 microvolts in the dark-adapted retina. Test flashes of 0.04-sec. duration, central fixation on a circular field, 7°30′ in diameter. Contact lens electrode over cornea, neutral electrode over supra-orbital ridge. Experiments of July, 1948 and December, 1948 (the latter data are marked with asterisks).

Tables Icon

Table II Logarithms of luminous flux, ∫RλtλKλdλ to elicit electrical responses of 58 microvolts in the light-adapted retina. Conditions as in Table I above except that each test flash was delivered 60 seconds after a two-minute exposure to a large adapting field of white light having a brightness of 202 footlamberts. Experiments of August, 1948.

Tables Icon

Table III Logarithms of luminous flux, ∫RλtλKλdλ, delivered to the eye by the arrangement shown in Fig. 11. Scotopic matching by five observers of a stimulus patch having a brightness of 22 microfootlamberts. Experiments of July and August, 1948. Dark-adapted eye, central fixation on circular bipartite field 8° in diameter. Values of Kλ from Stiles and Smith mean scotopic data.

Tables Icon

Table IV Logarithms of luminous flux, ∫Rλtλkλdλ for photopic matching of a stimulus patch having a brightness of 227 footlamberts. Light-adapted eye, method of flicker photometry with central fixation on a circular flickering field 1°50′ in diameter surrounded by a large adapting field of white light having a brightness of 227 footlamberts. Experiments of August, 1948. Values of kλ from I.C.I. photopic luminosity data.

Equations (45)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

5 ¯ .79
5 ¯ .86
4 ¯ .09
4 ¯ .10
4 ¯ .18
4 ¯ .29
4 ¯ .07
4 ¯ .20
4 ¯ .31
5 ¯ .80
5 ¯ .88
5 ¯ .93
5 ¯ .98
4 ¯ .15
4 ¯ .10
4 ¯ .14
4 ¯ .10
4 ¯ .30
5 ¯ .81
5 ¯ .82
5 ¯ .97
4 ¯ .14
4 ¯ .06
4 ¯ .02
4 ¯ .10
4 ¯ .08
4 ¯ .19
5 ¯ .70
5 ¯ .77
5 ¯ .77
5 ¯ .92
5 ¯ .95
5 ¯ .81
5 ¯ .93
5 ¯ .98
5 ¯ .95
5 ¯ .76
5 ¯ .81
5 ¯ .79
5 ¯ .92
5 ¯ .96
5 ¯ .85
4 ¯ .00
4 ¯ .07
4 ¯ .05