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J Vis. 2008 Oct 6;8(13):1.1-12. doi: 10.1167/8.13.1.

Influence of adaptive-optics ocular aberration correction on visual acuity at different luminances and contrast polarities.

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  • 1Instituto de Optica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. susana@io.cfmac.csic.es


We evaluated the visual benefit of correcting astigmatism and high-order aberrations with adaptive optics (AO) on visual acuity (VA) measured at 7 different luminances (ranging from 0.8 to 50 cd/m(2)) and two contrast polarities (black letters on white background, BoW, and white letters on black background, WoB) on 7 subjects. For the BoW condition, VA increased with background luminance in both natural and AO-corrected conditions, and there was a benefit of AO correction at all luminances (by a factor of 1.29 on average across luminances). For WoB VA increased with foreground luminance but decreased for the highest luminances. In this reversed polarity condition AO correction increased VA by a factor of 1.13 on average and did not produce a visual benefit at high luminances. The improvement of VA (averaged across conditions) was significantly correlated (p = 0.04) with the amount of corrected aberrations (in terms of Strehl ratio). The improved performance with WoB targets with respect to BoW targets is decreased when correcting aberrations, suggesting a role of ocular aberrations in the differences in visual performance between contrast polarities.

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