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Senescent changes in parafoveal color appearance: saturation as a function of stimulus area.


The chromatic content (saturation) of monochromatic stimuli (480, 505, 577, and 650 nm) was scaled as a function of field size at three different retinal locations by 58 observers ranging from 18 to 83 yr of age. The different retinal locations (6 deg nasal, 2.5 deg inferior and 6 deg temporal eccentricity) were chosen according to anatomical studies demonstrating different degrees of senescent losses of cones or ganglion cells. Nine field sizes were tested, ranging from 0.0096 to 0.96 deg in diameter. The subjects used a percentage scale to judge the saturation of the flashed stimulus presentations (2 s on, 5 s off). The data analysis demonstrated that older observers require larger field sizes than younger observers to perceive hue as well as larger field sizes to reach the same level of scaled saturation. The spatial dependency of color appearance for younger and older observers was not correlated with senescent losses in retinal cells reported for the different retinal locations. The data were modeled by using an impulse-response function (i.e., Naka-Rushton equation) so that perceptive fields could be compared to electrophysiological measures of receptive fields or dendritic fields of retinal and cortical cells.

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