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Processing of color signals in female carriers of color vision deficiency

Konstantakopoulou, E., Rodriguez-Carmona, M. & Barbur, J. L. (2012). Processing of color signals in female carriers of color vision deficiency. Journal of vision, 12(2), p. 11. doi: 10.1167/12.2.11


The aim of this study was to assess the chromatic sensitivity of carriers of color deficiency, specifically in relation to dependence on retinal illuminance, and to reference these findings to the corresponding red-green (RG) thresholds measured in normal trichromatic males. Thirty-six carriers of congenital RG color deficiency and 26 normal trichromatic males participated in the study. The retinal illuminance was estimated by measuring the pupil diameter and the optical density of the lens and the macular pigment. Each subject's color vision was examined using the Color Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test, the Ishihara and American Optical pseudoisochromatic plates, and the Nagel anomaloscope. Carriers of deuteranopia (D) and deuteranomaly (DA) had higher RG thresholds than male trichromats (p < 0.05). When referenced to male trichromats, carriers of protanomaly (PA) needed 28% less color signal strength; carriers of D required ∼60% higher thresholds at mesopic light levels. Variation in the L:M ratio and hence the absolute M-cone density may be the principal factor underlying the poorer chromatic sensitivity of D carriers in the low photopic range. The increased sensitivity of PA carriers at lower light levels is consistent with the pooling of signals from the hybrid M' and the M cones and the subsequent stronger inhibition of the rods. The findings suggest that signals from hybrid photopigments may pool preferentially with the spectrally closest "normal" pigments.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: heterozygous carriers, color vision, anomalous trichromacy, dichromacy, CAD test
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Published Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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