Short-wave cone signal in the red-green detection mechanism
Kronauer, Richard. E.
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Stromeyer, C.F., Chaparro, A., Rodriguez, C., Chen, D., Hu, E., & Kronauer, R.E. (1998). Short-wave cone signal in the red-green detection mechanism. Vision Research, 38(6), 813-826.
Previous work shows that the red-green (RG) detection mechanism is highly sensitive, responding to equal and opposite long-wave (L) and middle-wave (M) cone contrast signals. This mechanism mediates red-green hue judgements under many conditions. We show that the RG detection mechanism also receives a weak input from the short-wave (S) cones that supports the L signal and equally opposes M. This was demonstrated with a pedestal paradigm, in which weak S cone flicker facilitates discrimination and detection of red-green flicker. Also, a near-threshold +S cone flash facilitates detection of red flashes and inhibits green flashes, and a near-threshold -S cone flash facilitates detection of green flashes and inhibits red flashes. The S contrast weight in RG is small relative to the L and M contrast weights. However, a comparison of our results with other studies suggests that the strength of the absolute S cone contrast contribution to the RG detection mechanism is 1/4 to 1/3 the strength of the S contribution to the blue-yellow (BY) detection mechanism. Thus, the S weight in RG is a significant fraction of the S weight in BY. This has important implications for the 'cardinal' color mechanisms, for it predicts that for detection or discrimination, the mechanisms limiting performance do not lie on orthogonal M-L and S axes within the equiluminant color plane.
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