Spectral Sensitivity Measured with Electroretinogram Using a Constant Response Method

PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147318. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147318. eCollection 2016.


A new method is presented to determine the retinal spectral sensitivity function S(λ) using the electroretinogram (ERG). S(λ)s were assessed in three different species of myomorph rodents, Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), Wistar rats (Ratus norvegicus), and mice (Mus musculus). The method, called AC Constant Method, is based on a computerized automatic feedback system that adjusts light intensity to maintain a constant-response amplitude to a flickering stimulus throughout the spectrum, as it is scanned from 300 to 700 nm, and back. The results are presented as the reciprocal of the intensity at each wavelength required to maintain a constant peak to peak response amplitude. The resulting S(λ) had two peaks in all three rodent species, corresponding to ultraviolet and M cones, respectively: 359 nm and 511 nm for mice, 362 nm and 493 nm for gerbils, and 362 nm and 502 nm for rats. Results for mouse and gerbil were similar to literature reports of S(λ) functions obtained with other methods, confirming that the ERG associated to the AC Constant-Response Method was effective to obtain reliable S(λ) functions. In addition, due to its fast data collection time, the AC Constant Response Method has the advantage of keeping the eye in a constant light adapted state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electroretinography / methods*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Software

Grant support

This work was supported by research grants from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) Thematic Project 02/12733-8 (DFV), Brazilian funding agencies Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Comissão de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) e Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq): FINEP IBN-Net #1723 (LCLS and DFV); CAPES-PROCAD #182/2007 (DFV and LCLS); LCLS and DFV are CNPq research fellows; FAFR received CAPES fellowship for graduate students. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.