We examined the intrinsic signals in response to grating stimuli in order to determine whether the light-evoked intrinsic signals of the retina are due to changes in the photoreceptor activities induced by the image projected on to the retina or are due to neural activities of the inner retina. The retinas of the left eye of 12 cats under general anesthesia were examined by a functional imaging fundus camera. Near infrared light was used to monitor the reflectance changes (RCs) of the retina. Vertical grating were used to stimulate the retina at 4 Hz. The spatial frequencies of the gratings were 0.05, 0.11, 0.22, 0.43, 0.86, 1.73, and 3.46 cycles/degree (cpd). Ten images were averaged and used to analyze the RCs to obtain the peak value (PV) of a two dimensional fast Fourier transfer of the RCs. The wavefront aberrations (WA) were measured with a compact wavefront aberrometer and the spatial modulation transfer function (MTF) of the eye was calculated. The retinal reflectance image had a grating pattern. The PV of the spatial sensitivity curve was highest at low spatial frequencies (0.05 and 0.11 cpd), and the sensitivity decreased steeply with an increase in the spatial frequency. RCs were not detectable at 3.46 cpd. The MTF decreased gradually with increases in the spatial frequencies and was 0.68 at 3.46 cpd. The reflectance pattern of the retinal intrinsic signal elicited by grating stimuli of different spatial frequencies was different from that of the MTF. This suggests that the intrinsic signal represents not only the response of the photoreceptors but also other neuronal or vascular changes in the retina.Highlights
▸ We examined the retinal intrinsic signal in response to grating light stimuli. ▸ The spatial sensitivity of retinal intrinsic signal decreased steeply. ▸ MTF decreased gradually with an increase in the spatial frequency. ▸ The intrinsic signal may represent neuronal changes in inner retina.