Most of our daily activities are performed under light levels where our vision is based on cone photoreceptors. Our long term goal is to contribute to an understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying cone-based vision, how these mechanisms are disrupted in vision disorders and how vision loss might be prevented or reversed. For this application a multidisciplinary approach using psychophysics, adaptive optics imaging, electrophysiology, and molecular biology will be used to address three specific aims:
Specific Aim 1. Identify variations linked to the X-chromosome cone photopigment gene array that are associated with shifts in the relative numbers of human L and M cones. There is astounding individual variation in the L:M cone ratio among humans with normal color vision. To test hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for determining whether a cone is M or L, the region of the X-chromosome containing the cone photopigment genes will be examined in a large sample of males with normal color vision who have known differences in the ratio of L:M cones.
Specific Aim 2. Determine the consequences for the human cone mosaic of identified genetic differences that are proposed to affect the photoreceptor topography. Adaptive optics imaging coupled with retinal densitometry will be used to visualize structural and functional changes in the cone photoreceptors and their topographical arrangement in the retina as the result of genetic mutations.
Specific Aim 3. Explore an amazing plastic neural mechanism that is hypothesized to allow information from the environment to instructively reorganize neural connections throughout life. We will characterize a recently discovered plasticity of the adult visual system in which the long term effects of altered chromatic experience have been found to change the color vision of adults. This will allow hypotheses about the role of neural plasticity in establishing and maintaining proper function of the visual system to be tested.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Biology and Diseases of the Posterior Eye Study Section (BDPE)
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Mariani, Andrew P
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Medical College of Wisconsin
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Schmidt, Brian P; Touch, Phanith; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2016) Circuitry to explain how the relative number of L and M cones shapes color experience. J Vis 16:18
Puller, Christian; Manookin, Michael B; Neitz, Jay et al. (2015) Broad thorny ganglion cells: a candidate for visual pursuit error signaling in the primate retina. J Neurosci 35:5397-408
Manookin, Michael B; Puller, Christian; Rieke, Fred et al. (2015) Distinctive receptive field and physiological properties of a wide-field amacrine cell in the macaque monkey retina. J Neurophysiol 114:1606-16
Puller, Christian; Manookin, Michael B; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2014) Specialized synaptic pathway for chromatic signals beneath S-cone photoreceptors is common to human, Old and New World primates. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 31:A189-94
Puller, Christian; Haverkamp, Silke; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2014) Synaptic elements for GABAergic feed-forward signaling between HII horizontal cells and blue cone bipolar cells are enriched beneath primate S-cones. PLoS One 9:e88963
Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay (2014) Curing color blindness--mice and nonhuman primates. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 4:a017418
Foote, Katharina G; Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay (2014) Comparison of the Richmond HRR 4th edition and Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test for quantitative assessment of tritan color deficiencies. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 31:A186-8
Schmidt, Brian P; Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay (2014) Neurobiological hypothesis of color appearance and hue perception. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 31:A195-207
Kuchenbecker, James A; Greenwald, Scott H; Neitz, Maureen et al. (2014) Cone-isolating ON-OFF electroretinogram for studying chromatic pathways in the retina. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 31:A208-13
Godara, Pooja; Cooper, Robert F; Sergouniotis, Panagiotis I et al. (2012) Assessing retinal structure in complete congenital stationary night blindness and Oguchi disease. Am J Ophthalmol 154:987-1001.e1

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