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Vision Res. 2004;44(18):2159-69.

Monochromatic ocular wavefront aberrations in the awake-behaving cat.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


Measurement of wavefront aberrations in human eyes has become a reliable, quantitative way of assessing the optical impact of experimental and corrective ocular manipulations. Wavefront measures have also been performed in several other species, but never in cats, an animal model of choice for many ocular studies. Our goal in this study was to measure wavefront aberrations reliably in live, awake-behaving cats in a manner that is directly comparable to that used in human subjects. Six adult cats (felis cattus) were trained to fixate small targets on a computer screen. A compact Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor was aligned with each animal's pupil center and line of sight during fixation. Wavefront images were then collected from which the cats' ocular aberrations were measured up to tenth order Zernike polynomials over a 6 mm pupil. Results show that cat and human ocular wave aberrations were very similar. Second order Zernike modes accounted for more than 90% of the total wave aberration. In agreement with our observation that cat ocular optics were comparable with those of humans, the half height width of both the cat and human higher order point spread function was about 0.95 degrees. These results form a solid basis for future wavefront sensing studies aiming to quantify the effects of ocular manipulations in experimental animals.

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