Reflectometric techniques estimate the directionality of the retinal cones by measuring the distribution of light at the pupil plane of light reflected off the bleached retina. The waveguide-scattering model of Marcos et al. [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 2012 (1998)] predicts that the shape of this intensity distribution is determined by both the waveguide properties of the cone photoreceptors and the topography of the cone mosaic (cone spacing). We have performed two types of cone directionality measurement. In the first type, cone directionality estimates are obtained by measuring the spatial distribution of light returning from the retina with a single-entry pupil position (single-entry measurements). In the second type, estimates are obtained by measuring the total amount of light guided back through the pupil as a function of entry pupil position (multiple-entry measurements). As predicted by the model, single-entry measurements provide narrower distributions than the multiple-entry measurements, since the former are affected by both waveguides and scattering and the latter are affected primarily by waveguides. Measurements at different retinal eccentricities and at two different wavelengths are consistent with the model. We show that the broader multiple-entry measurements are not accounted for by cone disarray. Results of multiple-entry measurements are closer to results from measurements of the psychophysical Stiles–Crawford effect (although still narrower), and the variation with retinal eccentricity and wavelength is similar. By combining single- and multiple-entry measurements, we can estimate cone spacing. The estimates at 0- and 2-deg retinal eccentricities are in good agreement with published anatomical data.
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