Dimosthenis Karatzas


Journal Publication

Colour-opponent mechanisms are not affected by age-related chromatic sensitivity changes

S. Wuerger, K. Xiao, C. Fu and D. Karatzas

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, Wiley-Blackwell, Vol. 30, Issue 5, pp 635-659, 2010

[Impact Factor: 1.15 / 3rd (Ophthalmology)]


The purpose of this study was to assess whether age-related chromatic sensitivity changes are associated with corresponding changes in hue perception in a large sample of colour-normal observers over a wide age range (n = 185; age range: 1875 years). In these observers we determined both the sensitivity along the protan, deutan and tritan line; and settings for the four unique hues, from which the characteristics of the higher-order colour mechanisms can be derived. We found a significant decrease in chromatic sensitivity due to ageing, in particular along the tritan line. From the unique hue settings we derived the cone weightings associated with the colour mechanisms that are at equilibrium for the four unique hues. We found that the relative cone weightings (wL/wM and wL/wS) associated with the unique hues were independent of age. Our results are consistent with previous findings that the unique hues are rather constant with age while chromatic sensitivity declines. They also provide evidence in favour of the hypothesis that higherorder colour mechanisms are equipped with flexible cone weightings, as opposed to fixed weights. The mechanism underlying this compensation is still poorly understood.

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