Abstract

The distribution of cone photopigment across the retina affects the amount of light captured by cones at each retinal location. Cone photopigment optical density is measured in two ways, with reflectometry and/or with color matching. Color matching measures a higher optical density than does reflectometry. Control experiments confirm that large-field color matches measure photopigment optical density toward their outer edge. There is qualitative agreement as to photopigment distribution from both techniques near the fovea. Beyond 1 deg, color matching indicates little decrease in photopigment with increasing eccentricity, whereas retinal densitometry shows a steep decline in photopigment. The decrease in perifoveal optical density measured with reflectometry is attributed to the decrease in cone coverage from fovea to perifovea as rods and interphotoreceptor spaces increase. Differences among subjects in photopigment distribution near the fovea, measured with both techniques, reflect differences in the specialization of the foveal center for cone length and/or photopigment concentration per cone, which are factors influencing results from both techniques.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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