The organization of the cone photoreceptor mosaic measured in the living human retina

The cone photoreceptors represent the initial fundamental sampling step in the acquisition of visual information. While recent advances in adaptive optics have provided increasingly precise estimates of the packing density and spacing of the cone photoreceptors in the living human retina, little is known about the local cone arrangement beyond a tendency towards hexagonal packing. We analyzed the cone mosaic in data from 10 normal subjects. A technique was applied to calculate the local average cone mosaic structure which allowed us to determine the hexagonality, spacing and orientation of local regions. Using cone spacing estimates, we find the expected decrease in cone density with retinal eccentricity and higher densities along the horizontal meridians as opposed to the vertical meridians. Orientation analysis reveals an asymmetry in the local cone spacing of the hexagonal packing, with cones having a larger local spacing along the horizontal direction. This horizontal/vertical asymmetry is altered at eccentricities larger than 2 degrees in the superior meridian and 2.5 degrees in the inferior meridian. Analysis of hexagon orientations in the central 1.4° of the retina show a tendency for orientation to be locally coherent, with orientation patches consisting of between 35 and 240 cones.

Publication Date:
Mar 01 2018
Date Submitted:
Aug 10 2018
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 Record created 2018-08-10, last modified 2019-04-03

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