Abstract

The maximum area of complete spatial summation (i.e., Ricco’s area) for human short-wavelength-sensitive- (S-) and long-wavelength-sensitive- (L-) cone mechanisms was measured psychophysically at the fovea and at 1.5°, 4°, 8°, and 20° along the vertical meridian in the superior retina. Increment thresholds were measured for three observers by a temporal two-alternative forced-choice procedure. Test stimuli ranging from -0.36 to 4.61 log area (min2) were presented on concentric 12.3° adapting and auxiliary fields, which isolated either an S- or an L-cone mechanism on the plateau of its respective threshold versus intensity function. Test flash durations were 50 and 10 ms for the S- and L-cone mechanisms, respectively. The data indicate that, from 0° to 20°, Ricco’s area increases monotonically for the L-cone mechanism, is variable for the S-cone mechanism, and is larger for the S-cone mechanism than for the L-cone mechanism for essentially all retinal locations. This pattern of results most likely reflects differences in ganglion cell density and changes in neural convergence with retinal eccentricity.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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