The effects of longitudinal chromatic aberration and a shift in the peak of the middle-wavelength sensitive cone fundamental on cone contrast.

Rucker, F J and Osorio, D (2008) The effects of longitudinal chromatic aberration and a shift in the peak of the middle-wavelength sensitive cone fundamental on cone contrast. Vision Research, 48 (19). pp. 1929-1939. ISSN 0042-6989

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Abstract

Longitudinal chromatic aberration is a well-known imperfection of visual optics, but the consequences in natural conditions, and for the evolution of receptor spectral sensitivities are less well understood. This paper examines how chromatic aberration affects image quality in the middle-wavelength sensitive (M-) cones, viewing broad-band spectra, over a range of spatial frequencies and focal planes. We also model the effects on M-cone contrast of moving the M-cone fundamental relative to the long- and middle-wavelength (L- and M-cone) fundamentals, while the eye is accommodated at different focal planes or at a focal plane that maximizes luminance contrast. When the focal plane shifts towards longer (650 nm) or shorter wavelengths (420 nm) the effects on M-cone contrast are large: longitudinal chromatic aberration causes total loss of M-cone contrast above 10-20 c/d. In comparison, the shift of the M-cone fundamental causes smaller effects on M-cone contrast. At 10 c/d a shift in the peak of the M-cone spectrum from 560 to 460 nm decreases M-cone contrast by 30%, while a 10 nm blue-shift causes only a minor loss of contrast. However, a noticeable loss of contrast may be seen if the eye is focused at focal planes other than that which maximizes luminance contrast. The presence of separate long- and middle-wavelength sensitive cones therefore has a small, but not insignificant cost to the retinal image via longitudinal chromatic aberration. This aberration may therefore be a factor limiting evolution of visual pigments and trichromatic color vision.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Daniel ColacoOsorio
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:45
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 11:54
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27924
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