Format of Original
Optical Society of America
Biomedical Optics Express
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.002577; PubMed Central: PMCID 3184867
Using adaptive optics imaging tools to image the living retina, numerous investigators have reported temporal fluctuation in the reflectivity of individual cone photoreceptors. In addition, there is cone-to-cone (spatial) variation in reflectivity. As it has only recently become possible to image the complete rod photoreceptor mosaic in the living human retina, we sought to characterize the reflectivity of individual rods and compare their behavior to that of foveal/parafoveal cones. Across two subjects, we were able to successfully track the reflectance behavior of 1,690 rods and 1,980 cones over 12 hours. Rod and cone photoreceptors showed similar regional and temporal variability in their reflectance profiles, suggesting the presence of a common governing physiological process. Within the rod and cone mosaics, there was no sign of spatial clumping of reflectance profile behavior; that is, the arrangement of cells of a given archetypal reflectance profile within the mosaic was indistinguishable from random. These data demonstrate the ability to track the behavior of rod reflectivity over time. Finally, as these and other reflectance changes may be an indicator of photoreceptor function, a future extension of this method will be to analyze this behavior in patients with rod photoreceptor dysfunction (e.g., retinitis pigmentosa, Usher’s syndrome, and congenital stationary night blindness).