Send to

Choose Destination
Optom Vis Sci. 2003 Nov;80(11):749-52.

Visual acuity with reversed-contrast charts: II. Clinical investigation.

Author information

Division of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Snellen visual acuity was measured in 106 patients ranging in age from 20 to 88 years in routine examinations in the general refraction clinic with two kinds of charts: the standard chart using black letters on a white background and a reversed-contrast display featuring white letters on a black background. The overall ratio of the white-on-black to the black-on-white Snellen fractions was 1.043. A scattergram relating this ratio to patient age revealed that the older the patient, the more the visual acuity was improved by switching to the reversed-contrast chart, with a regression line slope of 0.5 +/- 0.10. Impairment of the eye's optics, in particular by intraocular scatter causing a widening and flattening of the eye's point-spread function, explains these findings and suggests prognostic and therapeutic value of reversing the contrast polarity of displays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center