Origins of retinal intrinsic signals: A series of experiments on retinas of macaque monkeys
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- Tsunoda, K., Hanazono, G., Inomata, K. et al. Jpn J Ophthalmol (2009) 53: 297. doi:10.1007/s10384-009-0686-3
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Diffuse flash stimuli applied to the ocular fundus evoke light reflectance decreases of the fundus illuminated with infrared observation light. This phenomenon, which is independent of the photopigment bleaching observed as an increase in the reflectance of visible light, is called intrinsic signals. Intrinsic signals, in general, are stimulus-evoked light reflectance changes of neural tissues due to metabolic changes, and they have been extensively investigated in the cerebral cortex. This noninvasive objective technique of functional imaging has good potential as a tool for the early detection of retinal dysfunction. Once the signal properties were studied in detail, however, it became apparent that the intrinsic signals observed in the retina have uniquely interesting properties of their own due to the characteristic layered structure of the retina. Experiments on anesthetized macaque monkeys are reviewed, and the possible origins of the intrinsic signals of the retina are discussed.