The OSCAR test, a clinical device that uses counterphase flicker photometry, is believed to be sensitive to the relative numbers of long-wavelength and middle-wavelength cones in the retina, as well as to individual variations in the spectral positions of the photopigments. As part of a population study of individual variations in perception, we obtained OSCAR settings from 1058 participants. We report the distribution characteristics for this cohort. A randomly selected subset of participants was tested twice at an interval of at least one week: the test–retest reliability (Spearman’s rho) was 0.80. In a whole-genome association analysis we found a provisional association with a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs16844995). This marker is close to the gene RXRG, which encodes a nuclear receptor, retinoid X receptor . This nuclear receptor is already known to have a role in the differentiation of cones during the development of the eye, and we suggest that polymorphisms in or close to RXRG influence the relative probability with which long-wave and middle-wave opsin genes are expressed in human cones.
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