Advertisement

Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 107–118 | Cite as

Contrast sensitivity in pigeons: a comparison of behavioral and pattern ERG methods

  • William Hodos
  • Mimi M. Ghim
  • Alex Potocki
  • Jessica N. Fields
  • Thilo Storm
Article

Abstract

Contrast sensitivity (CS) is often used to assess spatial and temporal vision in animals. Conventional behavioral psychophysical techniques are both time and labor intensive, whereas measurement of CS functions by means of the pattern electroretinogram (PERG) is considerably more rapid and efficient. Are the two methods comparable, however? To answer this question, contrast-sensitivity functions were obtained using both the PERG and behavioral psychophysics in the same subjects, which were White Carneaux pigeons. The stimuli, in both methods, were phase-reversing, contrast-modulated sweeps of sinusoidal gratings. The PERG-CS functions were recorded via corneal electrodes and the behavioral data were collected using a modified staircase method that used moderate food deprivation and food reward. The results indicated that the PERG-CS functions had comparable bandwidth and peak spatial frequency to the behavioral CS functions. The PERG-CS functions, however, were lower on average than the behavioral curves by about 54%. The visual acuity of the two methods, as estimated from the high-frequency cutoff of the CS functions, differed by 37%. Both of these values are roughly consistent with the √2 advantage of binocular viewing (behavioral method) over monocular viewing (PERG method). In addition, the peak spatial frequency showed a decrease of 0.125 c/deg with the PERG method and bandwidth was reduced by approximately 0.5 octave. These findings suggest that the PERG is an acceptable alternative to behavioral measurement of CS functions, especially in animal psychophysics, if one takes into account the underestimation of CS by the PERG method and the small changes in peak spatial frequency and bandwidth.

contrast sensitivity pattern electroretinogram pigeons 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Merigan WH. The contrast sensitivity of the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). Vis Res 1976;16:375–9.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pasternak J, Merigan WH. The luminance dependence of spatial vision in the cat. Vis Res 1981;21:1333–9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lehmkuhle S, Kratz KE, Sherman SM. Spatial and temporal sensitivity of normal and amblyopic cats. J Neurophysiol 1982;48(2):372–87.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jacobs GH. Visual capabilities of the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus) - II spatial contrast sensitivity. Vis Res 1977;17:821–5.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Callahan TL, Petry HM. Psychophysical measurement of the temporal modulation sensitivity in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). Vis Res 1999;40:455–8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bilotta J, Lynd FM, Powers MK. Effects of mean luminance on goldfish temporal contrast sensitivity. Vis Res 1998;38(1):55–9.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Solomon SG, White AJR, Martin PR. Temporal contrast sensitivity in the lateral geniculate nucleus of a New World monkey, the marmoset Callithrix jacchus. J Physiol (Lond) 1999;517(3):907–17.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Silveira LCY, Heywood CA, Cowey A. Contrast sensitivity and visual acuity of the pigmented rat determined electrophysiologically. Vis Res 1987;27(10):1719–31.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pak MA. Ocular refraction and visual contrast sensitivity of the rabbit, determined by the VECP. Vis Res 1984;24(4):341–5.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hemmi JM, Mark RF. Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and retinal magnification in a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). J Comp Physiol [A] 1998;183:379–87.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Price DJ, Morgan JE. Spatial properties of neurones in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the pigmented ferret. Exp Brain Res 1987;68:28–36.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Peachy NS, Seiple WH. Contrast sensitivity of the human pattern electroretinogram. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1987;28:151–7.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cannon MW. Contrast sensitivity: Psychophysical and evoked potential methods compared. Vis Res 1983;23:87–95.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hodos W, Bonbright JC Jr. The detection of visual intensity differences in pigeons. J Exp Anal Behav 1972;18:471–9.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hodos W, Leibowitz RW, Bonbright JC Jr. Near-field visual acuity of pigeons: Effects of head position and stimulus luminance. J Exp Anal Behav 1976;25:129–41.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hodos W, Bessette BB, Macko KA, Weiss SRB. Normative data for pigeon vision. Vis Res 1985;25:1525–7.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hodos W. The visual capabilities of birds. In: Zeigler HP, Bischof H-J, eds. Avian Vision, Brain and Behavior. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, 1993:63–76.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ghim MM. The effects of retinal illumination and target luminance on the contrast sensitivity function of pigeons. Masters Thesis, University of Maryland, College Park.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Johnson CA, Chauhan BC, Shapiro LR. Properties of staircase procedures for estimating thresholds in automated perimetery. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1992;33:2966–74.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Macko KA, Hodos W. Near point of accommodation in pigeons. Vis Res 1985;25:1529–30.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nye PW. The binocular acuity of the pigeon measured in terms of the modulation transfer function. Vis Res 1968;18:1041–53.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reymond L, Wolfe J. Behavioural determination of the contrast sensitivity function of the eagle Aquila audax. Vis Res 1981;21:263–71.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hirsch J. Falcon visual sensitivity to grating contrast. Nature 1982;300(4):57–8.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hodos W, Ghim MM, Miller RF, Sternheim, CE, Currie DG. Comparative analysis of contrast sensitivity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1997;38:S634.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bagnoli P, Porciatti V, Francesconi W, Barsellotti. Pigeon pattern electroretinogram: A response unaffected by section of the optic nerve. Exp Brain Res 1984;55:253–62.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Maffei L, Fiorentini A. Electroretinographic responses to alternating gratings in the cat. Exp Brain Res 1982;48:327–34.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hollander H, Bisti S, Maffei L, Hebel R. Electroretinographic responses to retrograde changes of retinal morphology after intracranial section nerve section. Exp Brain Res 1984;55:483–93.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Maffei L, Fiorentini A, Bisti S, Hollander H. Pattern ERG in the monkey after section of the optic nerve. Exp Brain Res 1985;59:423–5.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bernardi N, Domenici L, Gravina A, Maffei L. Pattern ERG in rats following section of the optic nerve. Exp Brain Res 1990;79:539–46.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Campbell FW, Green DG. Monocular vs. binocular visual acuity. Nature 1965;208:191–2.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Blake R, Levinson E. Spatial properties of binocular neurones in the human visual system. Exp Brain Res 1977;27:221–32.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Legge A. Binocular contrast summation - I. Detection and discrimination. Vis Res 1984a;24:373–83.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Legge A. Binocular contrast summation - II. Quadratic summation. Vis Res 1984b;24:385–94.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Binggelli RL, Paule WJ. The pigeon retina: Quantitative aspects of the optic nerve and ganglion cell layer. J Comp Neurol 1969;137:1–18.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Hodos
    • 1
  • Mimi M. Ghim
    • 1
  • Alex Potocki
    • 1
  • Jessica N. Fields
    • 2
  • Thilo Storm
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Sackler School of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Humboldt UniversityBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations