Abstract

Recordings of the human electroretinogram (an electrical response to light originating in the retina) are made while the eye is maintained at any one of three different levels of light adaptation. Conventional recording techniques and procedures are used. A single wave form displaying relative spectral sensitivity in agreement with the ICI photopic luminosity function is found throughout the middle and long wavelength portions of the spectrum, but short wavelengths are more effective in arousing electrical responses than would be predicted by the ICI curve. Although there is a considerable effect upon the magnitude of the electrical response, relative spectral sensitivity is not greatly affected by changes in degree of light adaptation. Two night-blind observers, however, were found to give a diminished response to blue stimulation.

© 1953 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. R. Granit, J. Physiol. 77, 207 (1933).
  2. J. C. Armington, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 393 (1952).
  3. Riggs, Berry, and Wayner, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 427 (1949).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  4. E. P. Johnson, J. Exptl. Psychol. 39, 597 (1949).
    [Crossref]
  5. R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947), with an appendix on electroretinography.
  6. E. D. Adrian, J. Physiol. 104, 84 (1945); J. Physiol. 105, 24 (1946).
  7. Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).
  8. K. Motokawa and T. Mita, Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. 42, 114 (1942).
    [Crossref]
  9. L. A. Riggs, Proc. Soc. Exptl. Biol. Med. 48, 204 (1941).
    [Crossref]
  10. H. V. Walters and W. D. Wright, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B131, 340 (1943).
    [Crossref]
  11. R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
    [Crossref]
  12. W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B112, 428 (1933).
    [Crossref]
  13. W. S. Stiles, Ned. T. Natuurk. 15, 125 (1949).

1952 (2)

Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).

J. C. Armington, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 393 (1952).

1951 (1)

R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
[Crossref]

1949 (3)

W. S. Stiles, Ned. T. Natuurk. 15, 125 (1949).

E. P. Johnson, J. Exptl. Psychol. 39, 597 (1949).
[Crossref]

Riggs, Berry, and Wayner, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 427 (1949).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1945 (1)

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

1943 (1)

H. V. Walters and W. D. Wright, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B131, 340 (1943).
[Crossref]

1942 (1)

K. Motokawa and T. Mita, Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. 42, 114 (1942).
[Crossref]

1941 (1)

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

1933 (2)

R. Granit, J. Physiol. 77, 207 (1933).

W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B112, 428 (1933).
[Crossref]

Adrian, E. D.

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

Armington,

Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).

Armington, J. C.

Berry,

Boynton, R. M.

R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
[Crossref]

Crawford, B. H.

W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B112, 428 (1933).
[Crossref]

Granit, R.

R. Granit, J. Physiol. 77, 207 (1933).

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947), with an appendix on electroretinography.

Johnson,

Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).

Johnson, E. P.

E. P. Johnson, J. Exptl. Psychol. 39, 597 (1949).
[Crossref]

Mita, T.

K. Motokawa and T. Mita, Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. 42, 114 (1942).
[Crossref]

Motokawa, K.

K. Motokawa and T. Mita, Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. 42, 114 (1942).
[Crossref]

Riggs,

Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).

Riggs, Berry, and Wayner, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 427 (1949).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Riggs, L. A.

R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
[Crossref]

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

Stiles, W. S.

W. S. Stiles, Ned. T. Natuurk. 15, 125 (1949).

W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B112, 428 (1933).
[Crossref]

Walters, H. V.

H. V. Walters and W. D. Wright, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B131, 340 (1943).
[Crossref]

Wayner,

Wright, W. D.

H. V. Walters and W. D. Wright, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B131, 340 (1943).
[Crossref]

J. Exptl. Psychol. (2)

E. P. Johnson, J. Exptl. Psychol. 39, 597 (1949).
[Crossref]

R. M. Boynton and L. A. Riggs, J. Exptl. Psychol. 42, 217 (1951).
[Crossref]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (2)

J. Physiol. (3)

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

Armington, Johnson, and Riggs, J. Physiol. 118, 289 (1952).

R. Granit, J. Physiol. 77, 207 (1933).

Ned. T. Natuurk. (1)

W. S. Stiles, Ned. T. Natuurk. 15, 125 (1949).

Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) (2)

H. V. Walters and W. D. Wright, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B131, 340 (1943).
[Crossref]

W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B112, 428 (1933).
[Crossref]

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

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

Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. (1)

K. Motokawa and T. Mita, Tohoku J. Exptl. Med. 42, 114 (1942).
[Crossref]

Other (1)

R. Granit, Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (Oxford University Press, London, 1947), with an appendix on electroretinography.

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Appearance of the human ERG. An upward deflection indicates positivity of the cornea. The upper example is typical of the completely dark-adapted eye. Dashed lines show Granit’s three components. Lower tracing shows additional waves which may be seen when the eye is incompletely dark adapted. The X wave remains distinct from the B wave only with red stimuli. If the eye is light adapted, the B wave disappears and amplitude of the X wave is reduced (see Fig. 3). The double arrow in the lower figure illustrates the height measurement used in the present paper.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Basic components of main stimulation apparatus. A, ribbon filament lamp; B, lens; C, D, E, F, interchangeable neutral density and color filters; G, lens; H, photographic shutter and diaphragm stop; I, J, lenses; K, unsilvered mirror; L, lens; M, cross section of hemispherical adaptation screen; N, lens; O, observer’s eye; P, lens; Q, stop; R, fixation lamp filament. Insert shows how the adaptation screen appears to the observer.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Responses of subject A. T. at all three adaptation levels. An increase of the adaptation brightness results in a smaller response. Vertical lines drawn through the recordings indicate the onset of the stimulus. The wavelengths assigned filters in this and the following figures correspond to their peaks of transmission. This value deviates from both the peak energy transmitted by a filter and its peak of stimulating effectiveness by less than 10 mμ. No neutral filters have been inserted in the stimulus beam.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Plots of the amplitude of the electroretinogram as a function of stimulus intensity. For any wavelength a 0.0 stimulus is the same regardless of adaptation brightness; 0.0 stimuli of different color do not necessarily have the same luminance.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Sensitivity curves for three observers. The smooth curve is the ICI luminosity function. Experimental points are plotted as departures from the luminosity curve in logarithmic units of photopic luminous flux. Electrical data and the ICI curve have been equated arbitrarily on an average basis for all points lying above 545 mμ.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Electrical responses from night-blind observers. They experienced difficulty with the contact lens electrode which resulted in prominent artifact activity; this is especially the case with the dark-adapted responses of M. L. Light adaptation was at 7.1 ft-L. Stimulus intensity has been reduced 1.0 log units for M. F. and 0.3 log units for M. L.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Sensitivity of the electrical responses of night-blind observers. Normal performance under these conditions (7.1 ft-L of light adaptation) is indicated by the dashed line.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table I Luminances of the adaptation screen in foot-Lamberts.

Tables Icon

Table II Departures of ERG data from the ICI luminosity function. Entries are in logarithmic units of luminous flux. A positive value signifies that the electrical data are the more sensitive.