Neural basis of photo/chromatic sensitivity in adolescence

Authors

  • Takao Yamasaki,

    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yoshinobu Goto,

    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
    2. Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation, International University of Health and Welfare, Okawa, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Naoko Kinukawa,

    1. Department of Medical Information Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shozo Tobimatsu

    1. Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Takao Yamasaki and Yoshinobu Goto contributed equally to the present paper.

Address correspondence to Takao Yamasaki, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. E-mail: yamasa@neurophy.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Summary

Purpose: To determine a psychophysiological basis for age visual sensitivity to chromatic and achromatic stimuli.

Methods: We investigated the effects of achromatic and four isoluminant color combinations (blue/red, blue/green, green/red, and blue/yellow), luminance ratio changes in color combinations (blue/red; 1:1, 3:4, 4:3) and contrast changes (3 to 100%) on steady-state electroretinograms (ERGs) and visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in 32 healthy teenagers and 30 young adults.

Results: We found that (1) dual peaks at 9 and 18 Hz with a dip at 12 Hz were observed in VEPs with all isoluminant color combinations, (2) VEP responses were significantly enhanced and the 12-Hz dip became unclear with luminance ratio changes between two colors with a nonantagonistic relationship (blue/red), and (3) VEP amplitudes were significantly increased when the contrast was increased. These characteristics were more evident in teenagers than young adults; however, ERGs were qualitatively similar between the two groups.

Discussion: The visual cortex is differently modulated by different color-luminance combinations, and higher sensitivity to color-luminance combinations in the visual cortex in teenagers is responsible for the high prevalence of photo/chromatic sensitivity in adolescence.

Ancillary