Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In 1819, Johann Purkinje described how a moving light source that displaces the shadow of the retinal blood vessels to adjacent cones can produce the entopic percept of a branching tree. Here, we describe a novel method for producing a similar percept. We used a device that mixes 56 narrowband primaries under computer control, in conjunction with the method of silent substitution, to present observers with a spectral modulation that selectively targeted penumbral cones in the shadow of the retinal blood vessels. Such a modulation elicits a clear Purkinje-tree percept. We show that the percept is specific to penumbral L and M cone stimulation and is not produced by selective penumbral S cone stimulation. The Purkinje-tree percept was strongest at 16 Hz and fell off at lower (8 Hz) and higher (32 Hz) temporal frequencies. Selective stimulation of open-field cones that are not in shadow, with penumbral cones silenced, also produced the percept, but it was not seen when penumbral and open-field cones were modulated together. This indicates the need for spatial contrast between penumbral and open-field cones to create the Purkinje-tree percept. Our observation provides a new means for studying the response of retinally stabilized images and demonstrates that penumbral cones can support spatial vision. Further, the result illustrates a way in which silent substitution techniques can fail to be silent. We show that inadvertent penumbral cone stimulation can accompany melanopsin-directed modulations that are designed only to silence open-field cones. This in turn can result in visual responses that might be mistaken as melanopsin-driven.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0124328

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2015

Volume

10

Keywords

Adult, Color Perception, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation, Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells, Retinal Vessels