Abstract in English:To have color vision, having at least two cone photopigment types with different spectral sensitivities present in distinct photoreceptors is necessary together with the neural circuitry necessary to extract color information. Visual pigments are highly conserved molecules, but differences can be found among vertebrate groups. Primates have a variety of cone photopigments (i.e., opsins) that are expressed by polymorphic genes. This article examines the diversity of cone photopigments in New World monkeys and their behavioral relevance.
Abstract in English:The neural retina is a highly complex tissue composed of excitatory and inhibitory neurons and glial cells. Glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter, mediates information transfer from photoreceptors, bipolar cells, and ganglion cells, whereas interneurons, mainly amacrine and horizontal cells, use γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter. In this review we place an emphasis on glutamate and GABA transporters as highly regulated molecules that play fundamental roles in neurotransmitter clearance, neurotransmitter release, and oxidative stress. We pharmacologically characterized glutamate transporters in chicken retina cells and identified two glutamate transporters: one Na+-dependent transporter and one Na+-independent transporter. The Na+-dependent uptake system presented characteristics related to the high-affinity xAG- system (EAAT1), and the Na+-independent uptake system presented characteristics related to the xCG- system, which highly contributes to glutamate transport in the retina. Glutamate shares the xCG- system with another amino acid, L-cysteine, suggesting the possible involvement of glutathione. Both transporter proteins are present mainly in Müller glial cells. GABA transporters (GATs) mediate high-affinity GABA uptake from the extracellular space and terminate the synaptic action of GABA in the central nervous system. GABA transporters can be modulated by molecules that act on specific sites to promote transporter phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. In addition to a role in the clearance of GABA, GATs may also release GABA through a reverse transport mechanism. In the chicken retina, a GAT-1 blocker, but not GAT2/3 blocker, was shown to inhibit GABA uptake, suggesting that GABA release from retina cells is mainly mediated by a GAT-1-like transporter.
Abstract in English:Marmosets show sex-linked polymorphism of color vision, whereby all males and some females show dichromatic ("red-green color-blind") vision based on two classes of photoreceptor sensitive to short or medium wavelength bands. Most female marmosets by contrast express three photoreceptor classes, one sensitive to short wavelengths and two classes in the medium-long wavelength sensitivity band. We used this 'natural knock-out' to study the organization of color vision pathways in primates. We review here results from our and other laboratories showing how the primordial dichromatic blue-yellow pathway is characterized by selective connections to short wavelength sensitive cones in the retina and that signals for blue-yellow color vision travel through an ancient part of the subcortical visual pathway called the koniocellular system. Signals serving red-green color vision by contrast are tightly linked to retinal circuits serving high-resolution spatial vision at the fovea and show little sign of specific patterns of connections with medium- and long-wavelength sensitive cones. Routine trichromatic color vision thus is based on converging signals from two quite distinct retinal and subcortical pathways.
Abstract in English:In this study, the on- and off-responses elicited by luminance square wave and sawtooth stimuli at different temporal frequencies and contrasts are described quantitatively. Adding on- and off-responses reveals response asymmetries. Full-field stimuli were produced using a Ganzfeld bowl with arrays of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as light sources. ERG responses were recorded from six normal subjects. The amplitudes and implicit times of components of the on- and off-responses and the additions were analyzed. The amplitudes of the on-, off- and addition components elicited by square wave stimuli did not depend on temporal frequency with the exception of the late negative components, which decreased with increasing temporal frequency up to 4 Hz. The amplitudes of all components elicited by sawtooth stimuli, except the P-on, decreased with increasing temporal frequency. The amplitude of all components elicited by square wave and sawtooth stimuli were positively correlated with stimulus contrast. The implicit times of the on-components to square wave stimuli and all response components to sawtooth stimuli decreased with increasing temporal frequency. Contrast had an effect on the implicit times of the N-on, P-on, P-off and P-add components elicited by square wave stimuli and the N-on, P-on, P-add and LN-on components elicited by sawtooth stimuli. The asymmetries between on- and off-responses can possibly be used to reveal inner retinal contributions and may therefore be interesting in detecting glaucomatous changes.
Abstract in English:ERG responses were recorded to rapid-on and rapid-off L- and M-cone isolating sawtooth stimuli of different cone contrasts. In addition, the responses were recorded to simultaneous in-phase stimulation of the L- and M-cones at equal cone contrast. Linear responses to mirror imaged rapid-on and rapid-off sawtooth stimuli are also mirror imaged. By adding on- and off-responses, linear response components will cancel and nonlinearities will remain. Because nonlinearities that occur at a certain stage of visual processing will influence subsequent stages, linear response components will probably have an outer retinal origin and nonlinearities probably originate mainly in the inner (post-receptoral) retina.
Abstract in English:The purpose of this study was to compare contrast sensitivity estimated from transient visual evoked potentials (VEPs) elicited by achromatic pattern-reversal and pattern-onset/offset modes. The stimuli were 2-cpd, achromatic horizontal gratings presented either as a 1 Hz pattern reversal or a 300 ms onset/700 ms offset stimulus. Contrast thresholds were estimated by linear regression to amplitudes of VEP components vs. the logarithm of the stimulus contrasts, and these regressions were extrapolated to the zero amplitude level. Contrast sensitivity was defined as the inverse of contrast threshold. For pattern reversal, the relation between the P100 amplitude and log of the stimulus contrast was best described by two separate linear regressions. For the N135 component, a single straight line was sufficient. In the case of pattern onset/offset for both the C1 and C2 components, single straight lines described their amplitude vs. log contrast relations in the medium-to-low contrast range. Some saturation was observed for C2 components. The contrast sensitivity estimated from the low-contrast limb of the P100, from the N135, and from the C2 were all similar but higher than those obtained from the high-contrast limb of the P100 and C1 data, which were also similar to each other. With 2 cpd stimuli, a mechanism possibly driven by the M pathway appeared to contribute to the P100 component at medium-to-low contrasts and to the N135 and C2 components at all contrast levels, whereas another mechanism, possibly driven by the P and M pathways, appeared to contribute to the P100 component at high contrast and C1 component at all contrast levels.
Abstract in English:The present paper focuses on a classic hyperacuity, Vernier acuity-the ability to discriminate breaks in the collinearity of lines or edges on the order of only arcseconds of visual angle. We measured steady-state sweep visual evoked potentials (sVEPs) in response to 6 Hz periodic breaks in collinearity (Vernier offsets) in horizontal squarewave gratings. Vernier thresholds, estimated by extrapolating the amplitude of the first harmonic (1F) to 0 µV, were measured for gratings with 4%, 8%, 16%, 32%, 64%, and 80% contrast, with gaps of 0, 2, or 5 arcmin introduced between neighboring bar elements that formed the Vernier offsets. Thresholds for the 2F response component provided an estimate of motion thresholds. The data confirmed and extended evidence that the odd- and even-harmonic components reflect cortical activity of different neurons (i.e., neurons that respond asymmetrically to the periodic breaks in alignment and neurons that respond symmetrically to the local relative motion cue of the stimulus). Suprathreshold data (peak amplitude, response slope, and response phase at the peak amplitude) provided additional independent evidence of this notion. Vernier thresholds decreased linearly as contrast increased, with a slope of approximately -0.5 on log-log axes, similar to prior psychophysical results. The form of contrast dependence showed more similarity to measures of magnocellular ganglion cell spatial precision than measures from parvocellular ganglion cells. Our data thus support the hypothesis that magnocellular ganglion cell output from the retina has the requisite properties to support cortical calculation of Vernier offsets at a hyperacuity level.
Abstract in English:The tree-receptor theory of human color vision accounts for color matching. A bottom-up, non-linear model combining cone signals in six types of cone-opponent cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of primates describes the phenomenological dimensions hue, color strength, and lightness/brightness. Hue shifts with light intensity (the Bezold-Brücke phenomenon), and saturation (the Abney effect) are also accounted for by the opponent model. At the threshold level, sensitivities of the more sensitive primate cells correspond well with human psychophysical thresholds. Conventional Fourier analysis serves well in dealing with the discrimination data, but here we want to take a look at non-linearity, i.e., the neural correlates to perception of color phenomena for small and large fields that span several decades of relative light intensity. We are particularly interested in the mathematical description of spectral opponency, receptive fields, the balance of excitation and inhibition when stimulus size changes, and retina-to-LGN thresholds.
Abstract in English:In this work we introduce a new category of barriers that we call "functional vision barriers." This expression refers to lighting and visual elements that may complicate or hinder functional vision and may make life even more difficult for people with visual defects. These barriers appear as a consequence of certain negative effects caused by the poor design of the visual stimulus or visual environment that surrounds it in which lighting is one of the main factors. We use the term "functional vision" because this expression refers to the ability of the visual system to perform everyday tasks. We analyzed some of our previous results with regard to situations that can be considered "functional vision barriers": (1) stimuli with low luminance contrast information in which the addition of chromatic contrast improves visual performance and (2) tasks that are performed in the presence of a glare source in the visual field, diminishing visual performance and reducing brightness perception.
Abstract in English:Early visual changes caused by diabetes include color vision losses and an abnormal full-field electroretinogram. The purpose of this study was to evaluate color vision in type 2 diabetic patients with no clinically detectable retinopathy using an objective psychophysical color vision test, evaluate retinal function assessed by full-field electroretinography (ffERG), and verify the agreement among the changes detected by each of these tests. Color vision was tested and ffERG was performed in 34 diabetic patients (20 males; ages 56 ± 9 years). Results were compared with those obtained from age-matched control groups. Color discrimination losses occurred in all three color-confusion axes with a higher incidence on the protan axis. The full-field electroretinographic data indicated that inner retinal components (i.e., ffERG oscillatory potentials) were more affected than outer retinal components, indicating impairment of second- and third-order retinal neurons early in the disease. Previous studies reported tritan losses as a classic color vision defect in diabetes, but our results showed that all three color-confusion axes (i.e., protan, deutan, and tritan) are compromised, at least during the very early stages of the disease, reflecting a diffuse pattern of color vision loss. The full-field electroretinographic results that showed abnormalities of the inner retina support the color vision findings.