Light capture by human cones.

Academic Article


  • 1. The variation in visual efficiency of light with varying pupillary entry (the Stiles‐Crawford effect) was measured to determine the proportion of light incident on the cones that escapes them without recovery by other cones. 2. The variation in detectability of interference fringes with varying pupillary entry of the interfering beams was measured to determine the proportion of incident light that was recaptured by cones in the dark stripes after escaping cones in the bright stripes of the fringes. 3. By exclusion, these observations determine the variation, with varying pupillary entry, in the proportion of incident light that was captured and absorbed by the first cones it entered. 4. Some 70‐90% of the light absorbed by the cones when it passes through the centre of the pupil, is entirely lost to the visual system if it passes instead through the margin of the (dilated) pupil. 5. Over half the light that cones absorb when the light enters the margin of the pupil is light that has previously passed through other cones. 6. If the spread of recaptured light is assumed to be Gaussian, its standard deviation is at most one minute of visual angle. 7. Such recaptured light makes a previously unknown contribution to the various Stiles‐Crawford effects. © 1989 The Physiological Society
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen B; Makous W
  • Start Page

  • 89
  • End Page

  • 109
  • Volume

  • 414
  • Issue

  • 1