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Prakash Adhikari, Beatrix Feigl, Andrew J. Zele; The flicker Pupil Light Response (fPLR). Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(5):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.5.29.
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The photoreceptor classes driving the flicker pupil light response (fPLR) to monochromatic sinusoidal temporal modulation are largely unknown. Here, we determine the photoreceptor inputs to the fPLR.
The 0.5-Hz fPLR was measured in healthy observers using a Maxwellian view (41° diameter) pupillometer at five narrowband wavelengths (short: 409 nm; intermediate: 462, 507, 530 nm; and long: 592 nm) over ∼10 log units of irradiance spanning scotopic to photopic levels (5.6 to 15.6 log quanta·cm−2·s−1; −6.9 to 3.6 log cd·m−2). The relative photoreceptor contributions to the fPLR were then derived from these amplitude-irradiance functions using a criterion fPLR.
The fPLR amplitude is small (≤ 3.9 ± 3.1%; mean ± SEM) below 8.0 log quanta·cm−2·s−1 then increases with retinal irradiance in accordance with a Hill function that asymptotes between 13.0 to 15.0 log quanta·cm−2·s−1 (wavelength dependent). The Hill slope is steepest for the intermediate wavelengths. Further increases in irradiance (>15.0 log quanta·cm−2·s−1) produce a distinct suppression of the fPLR for the intermediate wavelengths. The fPLR phase delay shows a linear decrease with increasing irradiance. The spectral sensitivity of the fPLR is dominated by inner retinal melanopsin ganglion cell and outer retinal rod photoreceptor inputs to the afferent pupil control pathway; the relative melanopsin : rhodopsin weighting decreases with the transition from photopic to scotopic lighting.
The fPLR can be used as a marker of melanopsin and rod interactions during the flicker stimulation and to quantify their contributions to the post-illumination pupil response (PIPR).
These irradiance and wavelength responses will be useful in standardizing the measurements of the fPLR using chromatic pupillometry.
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