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The size of the pupil depends on light level. Watson and Yellott (2012) developed a unified formula to predict pupil size from luminance, field diameter, age, and number of eyes. Luminance reflects input from the L and M cones in the retina but ignores the contribution of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) expressing the photopigment melanopsin, which are known to control the size of the pupil. We discuss the role of melanopsin in controlling pupil size by reanalyzing an extant data set (Bouma, 1962). We confirm that melanopsin-weighted quantities, in conjunction with Watson and Yellott's formula, adequately model intensity-dependent pupil size. We discuss the contributions of other photoreceptors into pupil control.


Manuel Spitschan. Photoreceptor inputs to pupil control. Journal of vision. 2019 Aug 01;19(9):5

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PMID: 31415056

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