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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 1999 Sep;16(9):2103-11.

Mathematical modeling of retinal birefringence scanning.

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  • 1Zanvyl Krieger Children's Eye Center, Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-9028, USA.


Retinal birefringence scanning (RBS) is a new technique that is used to detect the fixation of the eye remotely and noninvasively. The method is based on analysis of polarization changes induced by the retina. In this study, the principles of RBS were mathematically modeled to facilitate a better understanding of the origins of the signals obtained. Stokes vector analysis and Mueller matrix multiplication were augmented with Poincaré sphere representation. The cornea was modeled as a linear retarder. The foveal area was modeled as a radially symmetric birefringent medium. The model accurately predicted the frequency and phase of RBS signals obtained during central and paracentral fixation. The signal that indicates central fixation during RBS likely results from a combination of the radial birefringence of the Henle fibers and the overlying corneal birefringence.

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