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Waveguiding in retinal photoreceptors: and overview
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Paper Abstract

Since the pioneering work of Enoch in 1960, it has been experimentally well established that photoreceptors (rods and cones in the retina) of the human eye exhibit waveguiding properties. Photoreceptors behave as classical fiberoptic elements. It can be inferred that photoreceptors have specific orientation properties and it is found that they are aligned toward the exit pupil of the eye. This can be studied by non-invasive psychophysics and is known as the Stiles Crawford Effect of the First Kind. This refers to the feet that the eye is sensitive to the direction of incidence of light. Modeling the behavior of single photoreceptors as weakly guiding waveguide to incident light has greatly enhanced our knowledge of the optical properties of the visual system. In more recent work, the spatial impulse response of a single variable-cross-section photoreceptor has been characterized by assuming the incoming radiation to be an initial field propagating under confinement conditions inside the receptor. Using techniques of Fourier analysis the total transfer function is obtained. Both inner and outer segments of the photoreceptor are characterized as low-pass filters. The dependence of the transfer function on the modal parameter has been analyzed. In this article, I will review psychophysical and other evidence for waveguiding in photoreceptors as well as theoretical models of the Stiles-Crawford effect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3211, International Conference on Fiber Optics and Photonics: Selected Papers from Photonics India '96, (2 January 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.345374
Show Author Affiliations
Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Univ. of Missouri/St. Louis (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3211:
International Conference on Fiber Optics and Photonics: Selected Papers from Photonics India '96
J. P. Raina; P. R. Vaya, Editor(s)

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