A linear chromatic mechanism drives the pupillary response

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have shown that a chromatic mechanism can drive pupil responses. The aim of this research was to clarify whether a linear or nonlinear chromatic mechanism drives pupillary responses by using test stimuli of various colours that are defined in cone contrast space. The pupil and accommodation responses evoked by these test stimuli were continuously and simultaneously objectively measured by photorefraction. The results with isochromatic and isoluminant stimuli showed that (lie accommodative level remained approximately constant (<0.25 D change in mean level) even when the concurrent pupillary response was large (ca. 0.30mm). The pupillary response to an isoluminant grating was sustained, delayed by ca. 60 ms) and larger in amplitude than that for a isochromatic uniform stimulus, which supports previous work suggesting that the chromatic mechanism contributes to the pupillary response. In a second experiment, selected chromatic test gratings were used and isoresponse contours in cone contrast space were obtained. The results showed that the isoresponse contour in cone contrast space is well described (r2 = 0.99) by a straight line with a positive slope. The results indicate that a [L-M] linear chromatic mechanism, whereby a signal from the long wavelength cone is subtracted from that of the middle wavelength cone and vice versa, drives pupillary responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2209
Number of pages7
JournalProceeding of the Royal Society: Series B
Issue number1482
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001


  • pupillary response
  • accommodation response
  • chromatic mechanism
  • cone contrast


Dive into the research topics of 'A linear chromatic mechanism drives the pupillary response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this