Apparent saturation of blue-sensitive cones occurs at a color-opponent stage

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Science  13 Oct 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4364, pp. 217-219
DOI: 10.1126/science.694527


Response saturation of blue-sensitive cone pathways was studied by measuring increment thresholds for violet test flashes on flashed violet fields in the presence of a steady yellow "auxiliary" field of constant radiance. Adding intense yellow field flashes to the violet field flash could eliminate or reduce response saturation (greatly reduce threshold), whereas "negative" yellow field flashes drove the mechanism to further saturation. The response saturation is thus not, in general, controlled exclusively by independent blue-sensitive cones but by spectrally opponent mechanisms that receive opposite-signed signals from blue-sensitive cones and from green-or red-sensitive cones. These results add to a growing number of studies that demonstrate that detection of signals from blue-sensitive cones is largely through a color-opponent pathway.