Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Abstract The photopigment melanopsin supports reflexive visual functions in people, such as pupil constriction and circadian photoentrainment. What contribution melanopsin makes to conscious visual perception is less studied. We devised a stimulus that targeted melanopsin separately from the cones using pulsed (3 s) spectral modulations around a photopic background. Pupil-lometry confirmed that the melanopsin stimulus drives a retinal mechanism distinct from luminance. In each of four subjects, a functional MRI response in area V1 was found. This response scaled with melanopic contrast and was not easily explained by imprecision in the silencing of the cones. Twenty additional subjects then observed melanopsin pulses and provided a structured rating of the perceptual experience. Melanopsin stimulation was described as an unpleasant, blurry, minimal brightening that quickly faded. We conclude that isolated stimulation of melanopsin is likely associated with a response within the cortical visual pathway and with an evoked conscious percept.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/138768

Type

Journal article

Publication Date

17/05/2017