Differential aging of chromatic and achromatic visual pathways: behavior and electrophysiology

Vision Res. 2005 May;45(11):1481-9. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2004.09.041.


Aging of visual pathways was measured psychophysically and physiologically in subjects aged 20-89 years. Contrast thresholds for the chromatic pathways increased with age, but there were no significant changes for thresholds of the achromatic pathway at low spatial frequencies. For visual evoked potential (VEP) responses, again only the chromatic pathways were significantly affected by age. Age-related changes in chromatic responses were not apparent when stimuli were adjusted by age-related contrast thresholds. This suggests that the chromatic and achromatic visual pathways age differently and that the VEP accurately and objectively reflects behavioral changes with age.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*