(1/2918) Why and how is soft copy reading possible in clinical practice?

The properties of the human visual system (HVS) relevant to the diagnostic process are described after a brief introduction on the general problems and advantages of using soft copy for primary radiology interpretations. At various spatial and temporal frequencies the contrast sensitivity defines the spatial resolution of the eye-brain system and the sensitivity to flicker. The adaptation to the displayed radiological scene and the ambient illumination determine the dynamic range for the operation of the HVS. Although image display devices are determined mainly by state-of-the-art technology, analysis of the HVS may suggest technical characteristics for electronic displays that will help to optimize the display to the operation of the HVS. These include display size, spatial resolution, contrast resolution, luminance range, and noise, from which further consequences for the technical components of a monitor follow. It is emphasized that routine monitor quality control must be available in clinical practice. These image quality measures must be simple enough to be applied as part of the daily routine. These test instructions might also serve as elements of technical acceptance and constancy tests.  (+info)

(2/2918) Occupancy of the chromophore binding site of opsin activates visual transduction in rod photoreceptors.

The retinal analogue beta-ionone was used to investigate possible physiological effects of the noncovalent interaction between rod opsin and its chromophore 11-cis retinal. Isolated salamander rod photoreceptors were exposed to bright light that bleached a significant fraction of their pigment, were allowed to recover to a steady state, and then were exposed to beta-ionone. Our experiments show that in bleach-adapted rods beta-ionone causes a decrease in light sensitivity and dark current and an acceleration of the dim flash photoresponse and the rate constants of guanylyl cyclase and cGMP phosphodiesterase. Together, these observations indicate that in bleach-adapted rods beta-ionone activates phototransduction in the dark. Control experiments showed no effect of beta-ionone in either fully dark-adapted or background light-adapted cells, indicating direct interaction of beta-ionone with the free opsin produced by bleaching. We speculate that beta-ionone binds specifically in the chromophore pocket of opsin to produce a complex that is more catalytically potent than free opsin alone. We hypothesize that a similar reaction may occur in the intact retina during pigment regeneration. We propose a model of rod pigment regeneration in which binding of 11-cis retinal to opsin leads to activation of the complex accompanied by a decrease in light sensitivity. The subsequent covalent attachment of retinal to opsin completely inactivates opsin and leads to the recovery of sensitivity. Our findings resolve the conflict between biochemical and physiological data concerning the effect of the occupancy of the chromophore binding site on the catalytic potency of opsin. We show that binding of beta-ionone to rod opsin produces effects opposite to its previously described effects on cone opsin. We propose that this distinction is due to a fundamental difference in the interaction of rod and cone opsins with retinal, which may have implications for the different physiology of the two types of photoreceptors.  (+info)

(3/2918) Early visual experience shapes the representation of auditory space in the forebrain gaze fields of the barn owl.

Auditory spatial information is processed in parallel forebrain and midbrain pathways. Sensory experience early in life has been shown to exert a powerful influence on the representation of auditory space in the midbrain space-processing pathway. The goal of this study was to determine whether early experience also shapes the representation of auditory space in the forebrain. Owls were raised wearing prismatic spectacles that shifted the visual field in the horizontal plane. This manipulation altered the relationship between interaural time differences (ITDs), the principal cue used for azimuthal localization, and locations of auditory stimuli in the visual field. Extracellular recordings were used to characterize ITD tuning in the auditory archistriatum (AAr), a subdivision of the forebrain gaze fields, in normal and prism-reared owls. Prism rearing altered the representation of ITD in the AAr. In prism-reared owls, unit tuning for ITD was shifted in the adaptive direction, according to the direction of the optical displacement imposed by the spectacles. Changes in ITD tuning involved the acquisition of unit responses to adaptive ITD values and, to a lesser extent, the elimination of responses to nonadaptive (previously normal) ITD values. Shifts in ITD tuning in the AAr were similar to shifts in ITD tuning observed in the optic tectum of the same owls. This experience-based adjustment of binaural tuning in the AAr helps to maintain mutual registry between the forebrain and midbrain representations of auditory space and may help to ensure consistent behavioral responses to auditory stimuli.  (+info)

(4/2918) Frequency-dependent changes in cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen during activation of human visual cortex.

To test the hypothesis that brain oxidative metabolism is significantly increased upon adequate stimulation, we varied the presentation of a visual stimulus to determine the frequency at which the metabolic response would be at maximum. The authors measured regional CMR(O2) in 12 healthy normal volunteers with the ECAT EXACT HR+ (CTI/Siemens, Knoxville, TN, U.S.A.) three-dimensional whole-body positron emission tomograph (PET). In seven successive activating conditions, subjects viewed a yellow-blue annular checkerboard reversing its contrast at frequencies of 0, 1, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 50 Hz. Stimulation began 4 minutes before and continued throughout the 3-minute dynamic scan. In the baseline condition, the subjects began fixating a cross hair 30 seconds before the scan and continued to do so for the duration of the 3-minute scan. At the start of each scan, the subjects inhaled 20 mCi of (15)O-O2 in a single breath. The CMR(O2) value was calculated using a two-compartment, weighted integration method. Normalized PET images were averaged across subjects and coregistered with the subjects' magnetic resonance imaging in stereotaxic space. Mean subtracted image volumes (activation minus baseline) of CMR(O2) then were obtained and converted to z statistic volumes. The authors found a statistically significant focal change of CMR(O2) in the striate cortex (x = 9; y = -89; z = -1) that reached a maximum at 4 Hz and dropped off sharply at higher stimulus frequencies.  (+info)

(5/2918) On the analysis of nerve signals deduced from metacontrast experiments with human observers.

1. This paper reviews Alpern, Rushton & Torii's (1970a-d) derivation of the size of the inhibitory nerve signal arising from after flashes in the metacontrast experiment. 2. Their geometric argument is recast in terms of simple functional equations. This form of argument clearly displays the role of their assumptions in obtaining their main conclusion: nerve signal is linear in intensity over a range of 3-4 log units. 3. Two disadvantages of their approach are discussed. First, it is noted that in the presence of the data the assumption they employ in their analysis is logically equivalent to their conclusion. 4. Secondly, accepting their claim that the nerve signal generated by the after flash is linear over a broad range of intensities, and that this inhibitory signal simply cancels the excitatory signal of the test flash, leads to the conslusion that over this same intensity range the excitatory nerve signal is a power function with an exponent of close to two. This is incompatible with the suggestion that photoreceptor signals have been measured.  (+info)

(6/2918) Human cone pigment expressed in transgenic mice yields altered vision.

Genetically driven alterations in the complement of retinal photopigments are fundamental steps in the evolution of vision. We sought to determine how a newly added photopigment might impact vision by studying a transgenic mouse that expresses a human cone photopigment. Electroretinogram (ERG) measurements indicate that the added pigment works well, significantly changing spectral sensitivity without deleteriously affecting the operation of the native cone pigments. Visual capacities of the transgenic mice were established in behavioral tests. The new pigment was found to provide a significant expansion of the spectral range over which mice can perceive light, thus underlining the immediate utility of acquiring a new photopigment. The transgenic mouse also has the receptor basis for a novel color vision capacity, but tests show that potential was not realized. This failure likely reflects limitations in the organizational arrangement of the mouse retina.  (+info)

(7/2918) Cerebellar lesions and prism adaptation in macaque monkeys.

If a laterally displacing prism is placed in front of one eye of a person or monkey with the other eye occluded, they initially will point to one side of a target that is located directly in front of them. Normally, people and monkeys adapt easily to the displaced vision and correct their aim after a few trials. If the prism then is removed, there is a postadaptation shift in which the subject misses the target and points in the opposite direction for a few trials. We tested five Macaque monkeys for their ability to adapt to a laterally displacing prism and to show the expected postadaptation shift. When tested as normals, all five animals showed the typical pattern of adaptation and postadaptation shift. Like human subjects, the monkeys also showed complete interocular transfer of the adaptation but no transfer of the adaptation between the two arms. When preoperative training and testing was complete, we made lesions of various target areas on the cerebellar cortex. A cerebellar lesion that included the dorsal paraflocculus and uvula abolished completely the normal prism adaptation for the arm ipsilateral to the lesion in one of the five monkeys. The other four animals retained the ability to prism-adapt normally and showed the expected postadaptation shift. In the one case in which the lesion abolished prism adaptation, the damage included Crus I and II, paramedian lobule and the dorsal paraflocculus of the cerebellar hemispheres as well as lobule IX, of the vermis. Thus in this case, the lesion included virtually all the cerebellar cortex that receives mossy-fiber visual information relayed via the pontine nuclei from the cerebral cortex. The other four animals had damage to lobule V, the classical anterior lobe arm area and/or vermian lobules VI/VII, the oculomotor region. When tested postoperatively, some of these animals showed a degree of ataxia equivalent to that of the case in which prism adaptation was affected, but prism adaptation and the postadaptation shift remained normal. We conclude that in addition to its role in long-term motor learning and reflex adaptation, the region of the cerebellum that was ablated also may be a critical site for a short-term motor memory. Prism adaptation seems to involve a region of the cerebellum that receives a mossy-fiber visual error signal and probably a corollary discharge of the movement.  (+info)

(8/2918) Optical, receptoral, and retinal constraints on foveal and peripheral vision in the human neonate.

We examined the properties of the foveal, parafoveal, and near peripheral cone lattice in human neonates. To estimate the ability of these lattices to transmit the information used in contrast sensitivity and visual acuity tasks, we constructed ideal-observer models with the optics and photoreceptors of the neonatal eye at retinal eccentricities of 0, 5, and 10 degrees. For ideal-observer models limited by photon noise, the eye's optics, and cone properties, contrast sensitivity was higher in the parafovea and near periphery than in the fovea. However, receptor pooling probably occurs in the neonate's parafovea and near periphery as it does in mature eyes. When we add a receptor-pooling stage to the models of the parafovea and near periphery, ideal acuity is similar in the fovea, parafovea, and near periphery. Comparisons of ideal and real sensitivity indicate that optical and receptoral immaturities impose a significant constraint on neonatal contrast sensitivity and acuity, but that immaturities in later processing stages must also limit visual performance.  (+info)