We have studied the steady-state PERG in human subjects in response to red-green plaid patterns modulated either in luminance or in chromaticity or both. By varying the relative luminance of the red and green components, a value could be obtained at which the PERG amplitude was either minimum or locally maximum. This always occurred at equiluminance, as measured by standard psychophysical techniques. PERG amplitude and phase were measured as a function of spatial and temporal frequency of sinusoidal contrast reversal. In both space and time, the response to chromatic patterns was low-pass, while that to luminance was band-pass, and extended to higher spatial and temporal frequencies. The phase of the PERG to chromatic stimuli was systematically lagged compared with that to luminance stimuli, by an amount corresponding to about 20 ms under our experimental conditions. The variation of phase with temporal frequency suggested an apparent latency of about 67 ms for color contrast compared with 47 ms for luminance. These estimates were confirmed with separate measurements of transient PERGs to abrupt contrast reversal. For both luminance and chromatic stimuli, the amplitude of PERGs increases with increasing stimulus contrast. By summing vectorially the responses to appropriate luminance and chromatic contrasts, we were able to predict with accuracy the response as a function of color ratio (ratio of red to total luminance). The above findings all agree with those reported in the accompanying paper for the monkey PERG (Morrone et al., 1994), and indicate that the differences in response latency and integration time of luminance and chromatic stimuli observed by psychophysical and VEP techniques may arise at least in part from the properties of retinal mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems