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Psychophysical analysis of contrast processing segregated into magnocellular and parvocellular systems in asymptomatic carriers of 11778 Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 July 2008

M. GUALTIERI
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
M. BANDEIRA
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
R.D. HAMER
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California
M.F. COSTA
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
A.G.F. OLIVEIRA
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
A.L.A. MOURA
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
F. SADUN
Affiliation:
Ospedale S. Giovanni Evangelista, Tivoli, Italy
A.M. DE NEGRI
Affiliation:
Azienda Ospedaliera S. Camillo-Forlanini, Roma, Italy
A. BEREZOVSKY
Affiliation:
Departmento de Oftalmologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
S.R. SALOMÃO
Affiliation:
Departmento de Oftalmologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
V. CARELLI
Affiliation:
Neurology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
A.A. SADUN
Affiliation:
Doheny Eye Institute, Keck-USC School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
D.F. VENTURA
Affiliation:
Departmento de Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

We examined achromatic contrast discrimination in asymptomatic carriers of 11778 Leber‘s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON 18 controls) and 18 age-match were also tested. To evaluate magnocellular (MC) and Parvocellular (PC) contrast discrimination, we used a version of Pokorny and Smith's (1997) pulsed/steady-pedestal paradigms (PPP/SPP) thought to be detected via PC and MC pathways, respectively. A luminance pedestal (four 1° × 1° squares) was presented on a 12 cd/m2 surround. The luminance of one of the squares (trial square, TS) was randomly incremented for either 17 or 133 ms. Observers had to detect the TS, in a forced-choice task, at each duration, for three pedestal levels: 7, 12, 19 cd/m2. In the SPP, the pedestal was fixed, and the TS was modulated. For the PPP, all four pedestal squares pulsed for 17 or 133 ms, and the TS was simultaneously incremented or decremented. We found that contrast discrimination thresholds of LHON carriers were significantly higher than controls' in the condition with the highest luminance of both paradigms, implying impaired contrast processing with no evidence of differential sensitivity losses between the two systems. Carriers’ thresholds manifested significantly longer temporal integration than controls in the SPP, consistent with slowed MC responses. The SPP and PPP paradigms can identify contrast and temporal processing deficits in asymptomatic LHON carriers, and thus provide an additional tool for early detection and characterization of the disease.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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References

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Psychophysical analysis of contrast processing segregated into magnocellular and parvocellular systems in asymptomatic carriers of 11778 Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy
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