Age-related changes in ON and OFF responses to luminance increments and decrements

Keizo Shinomori, Athanasios Panorgias, John S Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Impulse response functions for an incremental luminous pulse (ON flash) or a decremental luminous pulse (OFF flash) were derived for twelve young (19–24 years old) and ten old (65–84 years old) observers. Thresholds were measured for two pulses separated by stimulus-onset-asynchronies from 13.3 to 186.7 ms. The pulses had a spatial Gaussian shape and were presented as increments or decrements on a 15 cd∕m2 equal-energy white background, having the same chromaticity as the pulse. A spatial four-alternative forced-choice method was combined with a staircase procedure. Retinal illuminance was equated individually by heterochromatic flicker photometry and using a 2.3-mm exit pupil in a Maxwellian-view optical system to reduce the effects of age-related changes and individual variations in lens density and pupil size. Luminance ON- and OFF-impulse response functions calculated from the threshold data revealed significant age-related changes in the response amplitude of both first excitatory and first inhibitory phases. However, there were no significant changes in the time to the first peak or the second peak. These age-related changes in luminance varying ON- and OFF-impulse response functions (IRFs), reflecting putative properties of the magnocellular pathway, are discussed in relation to motion detection and the balance of ON and OFF pathways across the life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B26-B34
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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