Abstract

The response of an isolated model foveal cone to a coherent sinusoidal intensity source is explored with use of the methods of photoreceptor optics. The dielectric waveguide model of a foveal cone that was previously used to explain the Stiles–Crawford effect and its wavelength dependence [ Vision Res. 13, 1115 ( 1973)] is applied to photoreceptor excitation by coherent gratings with variable spatial frequency and light wavelength. The results indicate that the photoreceptors themselves contribute to visual acuity through a wavelength-dependent response at each spatial frequency. In particular, the isolated photoreceptor has a characteristic low-pass spatial-frequency-filter effect for wavelengths between 410 and 654 nm (where two waveguide modes are carried) and a flat response for wavelengths greater than 654 nm (the single-mode region).

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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