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Clinical Psychophysical Assessment of the ON- and OFF-Systems of the Magnocellular and Parvocellular Visual Pathways

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DOI: 10.4236/nm.2011.24043    5,551 Downloads   8,393 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We developed a psychophysical paradigm for the clinical assessment of the contrast sensitivity (CS) mediated by the ON- and OFF-systems of the Magnocellular and Parvocellular pathways. We designed a stimulus considering two dimensions: two spatial frequencies (0.5 and 4.5 cpd) and two temporal rates of flicker (33 ms and 1500 ms). To evidence the ON- and OFF responses, the CS was measured for two polarities of light with luminance changes of 0.6 dB steps above and below the medium luminance grey background. We tested 38 healthy volunteers. The results shows that Magnocellular contrast sensitivity was higher than Parvocellular for the 33 ms flickering stimulus and the Parvocellular contrast sensitivity was higher than Magnocellular for 1500 ms stimuli. The reliability of the test was checked and confirmed. We concluded that the test performs a rapid measurement of the CS mediated by the ON and OFF systems of Magnocellular and Parvocellular pathways. It is useful in clinical protocols due to its high sensitivity and good reliability.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Costa, "Clinical Psychophysical Assessment of the ON- and OFF-Systems of the Magnocellular and Parvocellular Visual Pathways," Neuroscience and Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 330-340. doi: 10.4236/nm.2011.24043.

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