Characterizing the Human Cone Photoreceptor Mosaic via Dynamic Photopigment Densitometry


Densitometry is a powerful tool for the biophysical assessment of the retina. Until recently, this was restricted to bulk spatial scales in living humans. The application of adaptive optics (AO) to the conventional fundus camera and scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) has begun to translate these studies to cellular scales. Here, we employ an AOSLO to perform dynamic photopigment densitometry in order to characterize the optical properties and spectral types of the human cone photoreceptor mosaic. Cone-resolved estimates of optical density and photosensitivity agree well with bulk estimates, although show smaller variability than previously reported. Photopigment kinetics of individual cones derived from their selective bleaching allowed efficient mapping of cone sub-types in human retina. Estimated uncertainty in identifying a cone as long vs middle wavelength was less than 5%, and the total time taken per subject ranged from 3-9 hours. Short wavelength cones were delineated in every subject with high fidelity. The lack of a third cone-type was confirmed in a protanopic subject. In one color normal subject, cone assignments showed 91% correspondence against a previously reported cone-typing method from more than a decade ago. Combined with cone-targeted stimulation, this brings us closer in studying the visual percept arising from a specific cone type and its implication for color vision circuitry.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144891

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@inproceedings{Sabesan2015CharacterizingTH, title={Characterizing the Human Cone Photoreceptor Mosaic via Dynamic Photopigment Densitometry}, author={Ramkumar Sabesan and Heidi Hofer and Austin Roorda and Steven J. Barnes}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2015} }