Abstract

It is well known that pupillary threshold shows a scotopic spectral behavior, even for foveal stimuli. However, when two scotopically balanced fields at different wavelengths are alternated, the pupil shows a constriction response at each transition, exposing innervation from chromatic mechanisms. Using a suitable model for pupillary innervation, this substitution response is systematically studied for different wavelengths and radiant power levels to yield (within the accuracy of the assumptions of the model) spectral threshold curves for the chromatic mechanism as indicated by the pupil. Four mechanisms have thus been identified, having peak sensitivities near 450, 525, 580, and 495 nm.We propose that these represent the blue, green, red, and scotopic mechanisms as manifested before the level of the lateral geniculate body.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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