Luminance contrast sensitivity and colour vision are considered to have great predictive value in the evaluation of type 2 diabetic retinopathy. However, these two visual characteristics have seldom been investigated in the same group of patients. In the present study we measured contrast sensitivity and colour vision in a group of patients with type 2 diabetes and correlated the results with estimates of common metabolic markers for the disease. A subgroup of the patients had no clinical signs of retinopathy.
The aim of this work was to investigate the mechanisms of lateral interactions involved in flicker perception. Furthermore, the spatial properties of the monoptic and dichoptic components of these mechanisms were studied. We quantified the perceived flicker strength (PFS) in the center of a test stimulus, which was simultaneously modulated with a surround stimulus of variable size. The modulation depth of a separate stimulus, identical to the center test stimulus but without the surround, was determined using a two-alternative forced choice procedure. Using LCD goggles synchronized to the frame rate of a CRT screen, the center and surround of the test stimulus were presented either monoptically or dichoptically. In the monoptic condition, center-surround interactions have subcortical and cortical origins. In the dichoptic condition, center-surround interactions must have a cortical origin. The difference between the dichoptic and the monoptic data is an estimate of the contribution of the subcortical mechanisms. At each condition (surround stimulus size; monoptic or dichoptic presentation), the PFS was measured for phase differences between center and surround stimuli. The PFS changed systematically with phase difference. It also was observed that the PFS in the center stimulus changed merely be the presence of a surround stimulus independently of the center-surround phase difference. We propose that this is a phase-independent mechanism related to contrast adaptation owing to the presence of surround modulation. Our data suggest that both phase-dependent and -independent mechanisms have cortical and subcortical origins. There were no systematic differences between the spatial properties of subcortical and cortical components involved in PFS modulation.
To study the quality of life, treatment outcomes, and satisfaction in patients who have undergone cataract surgery Methods: This comparative case series study was conducted at the Ophthalmology Service of the Bettina Ferro de Souza University Hospital, Belém, Pará, Brazil. Totally, 60 patients with cataract were included; 50% underwent conventional extracapsular cataract extraction (ECEE) and 50% underwent cataract extraction by phacoemulsification (PHACO). Patients were interviewed using the Visual Function 14 (VF-14) questionnaire to determine the quality of life before and 30 days after surgery. The results of ophthalmological examination were recorded in the patients' files and were available throughout this study. One-way ANOVA, Tukey's post-hoc comparison, and the sign test were used for statistical analyses.
Among Amazonian communities, exposure to methylmercury is associated mainly with fish consumption that may affect fetal development in pregnant women. Therefore a temporal assessment was performed to assess the exposure of reproductive aged women to mercury who reside in the riparian communities of São Luís do Tapajós and Barreiras located in the Tapajós basin of the Brazilian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. The total mercury concentration in the 519 hair samples was assessed by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Data analysis showed that the average total mercury concentration decreased from 1.066 to 0.743 ?g/g in those years. In 1999 the proportion of volunteers with mercury levels ? 10 ?g/g was approximately 68 %. In general, exposure to mercury decreased among women of reproductive age, but the potential risks to reproduction and human health is still an issue as 22 % of the woman continued showing high mercury levels (? 10 ?g/g) in 2012.
The howler monkeys (Alouatta sp.) are the only New World primates to exhibit routine trichromacy. Both males and females have three cone photopigments. However, in contrast to Old World monkeys, Alouatta has a locus control region upstream of each opsin gene on the X-chromosome and this might influence the retinal organization underlying its color vision. Post-mortem microspectrophotometry (MSP) was performed on the retinae of two male Alouatta to obtain rod and cone spectral sensitivities. The MSP data were consistent with only a single opsin being expressed in each cone and electrophysiological data were consistent with this primate expressing full trichromacy. To study the physiological organization of the retina underlying Alouatta trichromacy, we recorded from retinal ganglion cells of the same animals used for MSP measurements with a variety of achromatic and chromatic stimulus protocols. We found MC cells and PC cells in the Alouatta retina with similar properties to those previously found in the retina of other trichromatic primates. MC cells showed strong phasic responses to luminance changes and little response to chromatic pulses. PC cells showed strong tonic response to chromatic changes and small tonic response to luminance changes. Responses to other stimulus protocols (flicker photometry; changing the relative phase of red and green modulated lights; temporal modulation transfer functions) were also similar to those recorded in other trichromatic primates. MC cells also showed a pronounced frequency double response to chromatic modulation, and with luminance modulation response saturation accompanied by a phase advance between 10-20 Hz, characteristic of a contrast gain mechanism. This indicates a very similar retinal organization to Old-World monkeys. Cone-specific opsin expression in the presence of a locus control region for each opsin may call into question the hypothesis that this region exclusively controls opsin expression.
We used psychometric functions to estimate the joint entropy for space discrimination and spatial frequency discrimination. Space discrimination was taken as discrimination of spatial extent. Seven subjects were tested. Gábor functions comprising unidimensionalsinusoidal gratings (0.4, 2, and 10 cpd) and bidimensionalGaussian envelopes (1°) were used as reference stimuli. The experiment comprised the comparison between reference and test stimulithat differed in grating's spatial frequency or envelope's standard deviation. We tested 21 different envelope's standard deviations around the reference standard deviation to study spatial extent discrimination and 19 different grating's spatial frequencies around the reference spatial frequency to study spatial frequency discrimination. Two series of psychometric functions were obtained for 2%, 5%, 10%, and 100% stimulus contrast. The psychometric function data points for spatial extent discrimination or spatial frequency discrimination were fitted with Gaussian functions using the least square method, and the spatial extent and spatial frequency entropies were estimated from the standard deviation of these Gaussian functions. Then, joint entropy was obtained by multiplying the square root of space extent entropy times the spatial frequency entropy. We compared our results to the theoretical minimum for unidimensional Gábor functions, 1/4? or 0.0796. At low and intermediate spatial frequencies and high contrasts, joint entropy reached levels below the theoretical minimum, suggesting non-linear interactions between two or more visual mechanisms. We concluded that non-linear interactions of visual pathways, such as the M and P pathways, could explain joint entropy values below the theoretical minimum at low and intermediate spatial frequencies and high contrasts. These non-linear interactions might be at work at intermediate and high contrasts at all spatial frequencies once there was a substantial decrease in joint entropy for these stimulus conditions when contrast was raised.
This study evaluated current levels of mercury exposure and sensory symptoms in adults from three riverine communities in Pará State, Brazil, two of which located in the Tapajós River basin and one in the Tocantins basin. Participants in this study included 78 residents in Barreiras (Tapajós), 30 in São Luiz do Tapajós (Tapajós), and 49 in Furo do Maracujá (Tocantins). Total hair mercury concentrations were quantified by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and neurological evaluation was conducted by routine examination. Mercury concentrations in the Tapajós communities were higher than those in the Tocantins (p < 0.01). Evaluation of neurological changes showed no significant difference between the communities in exposed areas and control areas for the changes observed by conventional neurological examination, except for gait deviation (p < 0.05). The study concludes that despite the mercury exposure levels, there was a low frequency of sensory alterations according to conventional neurological testing.
The contributions of contrast detection mechanisms to the visual cortical evoked potential (VECP) have been investigated studying the contrast-response and spatial frequency-response functions. Previously, the use of m-sequences for stimulus control has been almost restricted to multifocal electrophysiology stimulation and, in some aspects, it substantially differs from conventional VECPs. Single stimulation with spatial contrast temporally controlled by m-sequences has not been extensively tested or compared to multifocal techniques. Our purpose was to evaluate the influence of spatial frequency and contrast of sinusoidal gratings on the VECP elicited by pseudo-random stimulation. Nine normal subjects were stimulated by achromatic sinusoidal gratings driven by pseudo random binary m-sequence at seven spatial frequencies (0.4-10 cpd) and three stimulus sizes (4°, 8°, and 16° of visual angle). At 8° subtence, six contrast levels were used (3.12-99%). The first order kernel (K1) did not provide a consistent measurable signal across spatial frequencies and contrasts that were tested-signal was very small or absent-while the second order kernel first (K2.1) and second (K2.2) slices exhibited reliable responses for the stimulus range. The main differences between results obtained with the K2.1 and K2.2 were in the contrast gain as measured in the amplitude versus contrast and amplitude versus spatial frequency functions. The results indicated that K2.1 was dominated by M-pathway, but for some stimulus condition some P-pathway contribution could be found, while the second slice reflected the P-pathway contribution. The present work extended previous findings of the visual pathways contribution to VECP elicited by pseudorandom stimulation for a wider range of spatial frequencies.
The present study evaluated the efficacy of an adapted version of the Mollon-Reffin test for the behavioral investigation of color vision in capuchin monkeys. Ten tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp., formerly referred to as Cebus apella) had their DNA analyzed and were characterized as the following: one trichromat female, seven deuteranope dichromats (six males and one female), and two protanope males, one of which was identified as an "ML protanope." For their behavioral characterization, all of the subjects were tested at three regions of the Commission International de lEclairage (CIE) 1976 uv diagram, with each test consisting of 20 chromatic variation vectors that were radially distributed around the chromaticity point set as the test background. The phenotypes inferred from the behavioral data were in complete agreement with those predicted from the genetic analysis, with the threshold distribution clearly differentiating between trichromats and dichromats and the estimated confusion lines characteristically converging for deuteranopes and the "classic" protanope. The discrimination pattern of the ML protanope was intermediate between protan and deutan, with confusion lines horizontally oriented and parallel to each other. The observed phenotypic differentiation confirmed the efficacy of the Mollon-Reffin test paradigm as a useful tool for evaluating color discrimination in nonhuman primates. Especially noteworthy was the demonstration of behavioral segregation between the "classic" and "ML" protanopes, suggesting identifiable behavioral consequences of even slight variations in the spectral sensitivity of M/L photopigments in dichromats.
The purpose of this paper was to evaluate achromatic and chromatic vision of workers chronically exposed to organic solvents through psychophysical methods. Thirty-one gas station workers (31.5 ± 8.4 years old) were evaluated. Psychophysical tests were achromatic tests (Snellen chart, spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity, and visual perimetry) and chromatic tests (Ishiharas test, color discrimination ellipses, and Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test--FM100). Spatial contrast sensitivities of exposed workers were lower than the control at spatial frequencies of 20 and 30 cpd whilst the temporal contrast sensitivity was preserved. Visual field losses were found in 10-30 degrees of eccentricity in the solvent exposed workers. The exposed workers group had higher error values of FM100 and wider color discrimination ellipses area compared to the controls. Workers occupationally exposed to organic solvents had abnormal visual functions, mainly color vision losses and visual field constriction.
Previous studies have shown a noticeable phenotypic diversity for pyramidal cells among cortical areas in the cerebral cortex. Both the extent and systematic nature of this variation suggests a correlation with particular aspects of cortical processing. Nevertheless, regional variations in the morphology of inhibitory cells have not been evaluated with the same detail. In the present study we performed a 3D morphometric analysis of 120 NADPH diaphorase (NADPH-d) type I neurons in the visual cortex of a South American Hystricomorph rodent, the diurnal agouti (Dasyprocta sp.). We found significant differences in morphology of NADPH-d type I neurons among visual cortical areas: cells became progressively larger and more branched from V1 to V2 and V3. Presumably, the specialized morphology of these cells is correlated with different sampling geometry and function. The data suggest that area-specific specializations of cortical inhibitory circuitry are also present in rodents.
Rod bipolar cells in Cebus apella monkey retina were identified by an antibody against the alpha isoform of protein kinase C (PKCalpha), which has been shown to selectively identify rod bipolars in two other primates and various mammals. Vertical sections were used to confirm the identity of these cells by their characteristic morphology of dendrites and axons. Their topographic distribution was assessed in horizontal sections; counts taken along the dorsal, ventral, nasal, and temporal quadrants. The density of rod bipolar cells increased from 500 to 2900 cells/mm2 at 1 mm from the fovea to reach a peak of 10,000-12,000 cells/mm2 at 4 mm, approximately 5 deg of eccentricity, and then gradually decreased toward retinal periphery to values of 5000 cells/mm2 or less. Rod to rod bipolar density ratio remained between 10 and 20 across most of the retinal extension. The number of rod bipolar cells per retina was 6,360,000 +/- 387,433 (mean +/- s.d., n = 6). The anti-PKCalpha antibody has shown to be a good marker of rod bipolar cells of Cebus, and the cell distribution is similar to that described for other primates. In spite of the difference in the central retina, the density variation of rod bipolar cells in the Cebus and Macaca as well as the convergence from rod to rod bipolar cells are generally similar, suggesting that both retinae stabilize similar sensitivity (as measured by rod density) and convergence.
To study the prevalence of abnormal gastroesophageal reflux in infants with Robin sequence who had severe respiratory obstruction treated with nasopharyngeal intubation and to evaluate the efficacy of nonsurgical treatment.
Conserved developmental programs, such as the order of neurogenesis in the mammalian eye, suggest the presence of useful features for evolutionary stability and variability. The owl monkey, Aotus azarae, has developed a fully nocturnal retina in recent evolution. Description and quantification of cell cycle kinetics show that embryonic cytogenesis is extended in Aotus compared with the diurnal New World monkey Cebus apella. Combined with the conserved mammalian pattern of retinal cell specification, this single change in retinal progenitor cell proliferation can produce the multiple alterations of the nocturnal retina, including coordinated reduction in cone and ganglion cell numbers, increase in rod and rod bipolar numbers, and potentially loss of the fovea.
The presence, density distribution, and mosaic regularity of cone types were studied in the retina of the diurnal agouti, Dasyprocta aguti. Longwave-sensitive (L-) and shortwave-sensitive (S-) cones were detected by antibodies against the respective cone opsins. L- and S-cones were found to represent around 90 and 10% of the cone population, respectively. There was no evidence for L- and S-opsin coexpression in agouti cones. L-cone densities were highest, up to 14,000/mm2, along a horizontal visual streak located about 2-3 mm dorsal to the optic nerve, and the L-cone distribution showed a dorsoventral asymmetry with higher densities in ventral (about 10,000/mm2) than in dorsal (about 4000/mm2) retinal regions. This L-cone topography parallels the agoutis ganglion cell topography. S-cones had a peak density of 1500-2000/mm2 in the central retinal region but did not form a visual streak. Their distribution also showed a dorsoventral asymmetry with densities around 600/mm2 in dorsal and around 1000/mm2 in ventral retinal regions. The patterning of cone arrays was assessed by the density recovery profile analysis. At all eccentricities evaluated, the S-cone mosaic less efficiently packed than the L-cone mosaic. Rod densities ranged from 47,000/mm2 in peripheral to 64,000/mm2 in central retina, and rod:cone ratios were 4:1-9:1. The comparatively low rod density and high cone proportion appear well adapted to the diurnal lifestyle of the agouti.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the visual loss due to dengue fever using retinal and cortical electrophysiology and retinal imaging. The participants were three female patients with low visual acuity after dengue fever. They were evaluated by routine ophthalmological investigations, transient pattern electroretinogram (tPERG), transient pattern visual evoked cortical potential (tPVECP), and retinal optical coherence tomography (retinal OCT). tPERG and tPVECP amplitude (microV) and implicit time (ms) were the parameters evaluated using OCT retinal thickness (microm) and reflectivity. All patients presented low visual acuity and scotomata with or without changes in the oculus fundus. tPERG from two patients showed decreased amplitude or absence of the main components; it was not possible to record a reliable response in the third patient due to excessive blinking. tPVECP at 0.5 cpd was normal in all three patients, while at 2 cpd the main components were absent in one patient and normal in the other two patients. OCT image was abnormal in two patients, one of them with high reflectance areas and another with decreased retinal thickness (the third patient was not studied with this technique).The dengue fever can lead to visual impairment detectable by ophthalmological exams such as angiography, retinography, and OCT imaging, as well as retinal and cortical electrophysiology. Dengue maculopathy which could be caused by vascular alterations and/or aberrant immune response after infection may result in temporary or permanent visual losses.
We address current needs for neogenomics-based theoretical and computational approaches for several neuroscience research fields, from investigations of heritability properties, passing by investigations of spatiotemporal dynamics in the neuromodulatory microcircuits involved in perceptual learning and attentional shifts, to the application of genetic algorithms to create robots exhibiting ongoing emergence.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the visual outcome of chronic occupational exposure to a mixture of organic solvents by measuring color discrimination, achromatic contrast sensitivity and visual fields in a group of gas station workers. We tested 25 workers (20 males) and 25 controls with no history of chronic exposure to solvents (10 males). All participants had normal ophthalmologic exams. Subjects had worked in gas stations on an average of 9.6 ± 6.2 years. Color vision was evaluated with the Lanthony D15d and Cambridge Colour Test (CCT). Visual field assessment consisted of white-on-white 24-2 automatic perimetry (Humphrey II-750i). Contrast sensitivity was measured for sinusoidal gratings of 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 10.0 and 20.0 cycles per degree (cpd). Results from both groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The number of errors in the D15d was higher for workers relative to controls (p<0.01). Their CCT color discrimination thresholds were elevated compared to the control group along the protan, deutan and tritan confusion axes (p<0.01), and their ellipse area and ellipticity were higher (p<0.01). Genetic analysis of subjects with very elevated color discrimination thresholds excluded congenital causes for the visual losses. Automated perimetry thresholds showed elevation in the 9°, 15° and 21° of eccentricity (p<0.01) and in MD and PSD indexes (p<0.01). Contrast sensitivity losses were found for all spatial frequencies measured (p<0.01) except for 0.5 cpd. Significant correlation was found between previous working years and deutan axis thresholds (rho?=?0.59; p<0.05), indexes of the Lanthony D15d (rho=0.52; p<0.05), perimetry results in the fovea (rho=?-0.51; p<0.05) and at 3, 9 and 15 degrees of eccentricity (rho=?-0.46; p<0.05). Extensive and diffuse visual changes were found, suggesting that specific occupational limits should be created.
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