Chromatic VEP assessment of human macular pigment: Comparison with minimum motion and minimum flicker profiles

A. G. Robson, G. E. Holder, J. D. Moreland, J. J. Kulikowski

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    To assess the effects of macular pigment optical density (MPOD) on isoluminant stimuli and to quantify MPOD electrophysiologically, MPOD distribution profiles were obtained in normal subjects using minimum motion and minimum flicker photometry. Isoluminance of VEP stimuli was determined using minimum flicker and tritan confusion lines were determined using a minimum distinct border criterion. Onset-offset and reversal VEPs to isoluminant red/green, blue/green, and subject-specific tritan gratings of different diameters were recorded from the same 14 subjects tested psychophysically. VEPs were additionally recorded to annular gratings. Chromatic VEP selectivity was assessed by Fourier analysis and as an index; onset negativity/(onset negativity + onset positivity). Peak MPOD varied between 0.2-0.8. Chromatic onset VEPs to all isoluminant 3-deg fields were predominantly negative. Larger blue/green and tritan stimuli elicited VEPs with additional positive, achromatic components; for 9-deg gratings, peak MPOD showed negative correlation with the power of the VEP fundamental (r = -0.70) and with the selectivity index (r = -0.83). Annular gratings elicited chromatic-specific B/G VEPs but only when isoluminance was determined for the annulus. Chromatic selectivity loss in VEPs to large B/G or Tritan gratings can be used to estimate subject-specific MPOD. An important implication is that isoluminant Tritan stimuli with short-wavelength components must be restricted in size in order to optimize koniocellular selectivity. Copyright © 2006 Cambridge University Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-283
    Number of pages8
    JournalVisual Neuroscience
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


    • Colour vision
    • Koniocellular
    • Macular pigment
    • Motion photometry
    • Parvocellular
    • Tritan selectivity
    • VEP


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