1. The minimally distinct border method involves setting the relative radiances of two adjacent, differently coloured fields until the border between them is minimally distinct. At these radiance settings, the two fields are found to be of equal luminance. The task shares with flicker photometry all the requirements of a photometric method. 2. We have recorded responses of macaque ganglion cells to such borders moved back and forth across the receptive field; the size of the luminance step across the border was systematically varied. 3. Phasic ganglion cells gave transient responses to such borders, consisting of an increase or decrease in firing rate depending on direction of luminance contrast and cell type (on‐ or off‐centre). Tonic ganglion cells gave sustained responses dependent on chromatic contrast across the border. 4. An analysis of phasic cell responses showed a minimum near equal luminance, suggesting their signal could readily support the minimally distinct border task. We could not devise a scheme whereby tonic cells could support the task. 5. Spectral sensitivity of phasic cells, determined from their minima, closely resembled the 10 deg luminous efficiency function, as required of a mechanism underlying the psychophysical performance. 6. For phasic cells, the minimum was independent of movement speed, and hence of eye movement velocity under natural viewing conditions. 7. Proportionality, additivity and transitivity are found psychophysically with the minimally distinct border method. All these properties were also exhibited by phasic cell responses. 8. Residual responses were present in individual phasic cells to equal‐luminance borders, probably due to a non‐linearity of M‐ and L‐cone summation. The amplitude of residual response depended on the wavelengths on either side of the border, and was zero for pairs of lights lying along a tritanopic confusion line. These residual responses could be correlated with residual border distinctness at equal luminance as reported psychophysically. 9. There was some variability in spectral sensitivity among phasic cells, and this could be described in terms of variability in weighting of the middle‐ and long‐wavelength cone inputs to each cell. With equal‐luminance borders, the residual response of the phasic cell population will thus be made up of the residual responses from individual cells and a contribution due to variation in spectral sensitivity among cells. 10. The responses of phasic ganglion cells thus form the physiological substrate of psychophysical performance on the minimally distinct border task. These cells also provide a residual signal to equal‐luminance borders which correlates with residual distinctness.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
The Journal of Physiology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1990
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera