Comparison of pupil responses to luminance and colour in severe optic neuritis

J. L. Barbur, S. Moro, J. A. Harlow, B. L. Lam, M. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The pupil response to light flux increments is abnormal in severe optic neuritis, but little is known about the effects of this condition on the pupil colour response. The aim of this study was to examine how optic neuritis affects pupil responses to light flux and colour modulation and the extent to which such pupil responses mirror the loss and recovery of vision. Methods: A new pupil examination technique that makes use of sinusoidal modulation of either luminance contrast or chromatic saturation was employed. This technique enables the automatic extraction of both pupil response amplitude and latency and achieves a high signal to noise ratio with fewer averages. Results: The study reveals a greater loss of pupil response amplitude and significantly longer latencies to chromatic modulation (i.e. ∼80 ms). Stimulation of the unaffected eye in the optic neuritis group results in smaller response amplitudes when compared to the normal group for both light flux and colour modulation. Conclusions: Pupil response components can be affected differently in optic neuritis. These findings suggest that the pupil colour response, in particular, may provide a useful, objective estimator to judge the extent of damage and recovery in diseases of the optic nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2650-2658
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Colour vision
  • Demyelination
  • Ganglion cell
  • Optic neuritis
  • Pupil response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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