Abstract

We determined how rod signaling at mesopic light levels is altered by extrinsic temporal white noise that is correlated or uncorrelated with the activity of one (magnocellular, parvocellular, or koniocellular) postreceptoral pathway. Rod and cone photoreceptor excitations were independently controlled using a four-primary photostimulator. Psychometric (Weibull) functions were measured for incremental rod pulses (50 to 250 ms) in the presence (or absence; control) of perceptually invisible subthreshold extrinsic noise. Uncorrelated (rod) noise facilitates rod detection. Correlated postreceptoral pathway noise produces differential changes in rod detection thresholds and decreases the slope of the psychometric functions. We demonstrate that invisible extrinsic noise changes rod-signaling characteristics within the three retinogeniculate pathways at mesopic illumination depending on the temporal profile of the rod stimulus and the extrinsic noise type.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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