PMID: 2016133Apr 1, 1991Paper

Visual adaptation and the cone flicker electroretinogram

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
N S PeacheyGerald A Fishman


This study examined the hypothesis that changes in the response properties of the human cone ERG during light adaptation represent the recovery of cone system responsiveness toward a dark-adapted value after an initial decrease in responsiveness at adapting field onset. The electroretinographic (ERG) responses to 31.1 Hz flicker were obtained under both dark-adapted and light-adapted conditions for stimulus luminances ranging from -1.42(-)+0.82 log cd sec/m2. At low stimulus luminances, flicker ERG amplitudes were larger under dark-adapted than under light-adapted conditions, consistent with the hypothesis. However, at high stimulus luminances, flicker ERG amplitudes obtained under light-adapted conditions were approximately double those recorded from the dark-adapted eye. Therefore, the increase in cone ERG amplitude that occurs during light adaptation at high stimulus luminances does not represent a return toward a dark-adapted level but instead entails a substantial enhancement above the dark-adapted value, by a mechanism that is presently unidentified.

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