As a result of longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA), longer wavelengths are blurred when shorter wavelengths are in focus, and vice versa. As a result, LCA affects the color and temporal aspects of the retinal image with hyperopic defocus. In this experiment, we investigated how the sensitivity to temporal color contrast affects emmetropization. Ten-day-old chicks were exposed for three days to sinusoidal color modulation. The modulation was either blue/yellow flicker (BY) (n = 57) or red/green flicker (RG) (n = 60) simulating hyperopic defocus with and without a blue light component. The color contrasts tested were 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 Michelson contrast. The mean illuminance of all stimuli was 680 lux. Temporal modulation was either of a high frequency (10 Hz) or low (0.2 Hz) temporal frequency. To test the role of short- and double-cone stimulation, an additional condition silenced these cones in RG_0.4 (D-) and was compared with RG_0.4 (D+) (n = 14). Changes in ocular components and refractive error were measured using Lenstar and a photorefractometer. With high temporal frequency BY representing an in-focus condition for shorter-wavelengths, we found that high temporal frequency BY contrast was positively correlated with vitreous expansion (R2 = 0.87, p < 0.01), expanding the vitreous to compensate for hyperopic defocus. This expansion was offset by low temporal frequency RG_0.4, which represented blurred longer wavelengths. The reduction in vitreous expansion in RG_0.4, was enhanced in D+ compared to D- (p < 0.001), indicating a role for short- and/or double-cones. With high temporal frequency RG representing an in-focus condition for longer-wavelengths, we found that high temporal frequency RG contrast was also positively correlated with a linear increase in vitreous chamber depth (R = 0.84, p < 0.01) and eye length (R = 0.30, p ≤ 0.05), required to compensate for hyperopic defocus, but also with RG sensitive choroidal thickening (R = 0.18: p < 0.0001). These increases in the vitreous and eye length were enhanced with D+ compared to D- (p = 0.003) showing the role of short- and double-cones in finessing the vitreous response to hyperopic defocus. Overall, the increase in vitreous chamber depth in RG was offset by reduced expansion in BY, indicating sensitivity to the shorter focal length of blue light and wavelength defocus. Predictable changes in cone contrast and temporal frequency of the retinal image that occur with LCA and defocus result in homeostatic control of emmetropization.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.