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Vision Res. 2009 Jan;49(2):211-8. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2008.10.010. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

The effect of modulating ocular depth of focus upon accommodation microfluctuations in myopic and emmetropic subjects.

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Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, UK.


The magnitude of accommodation microfluctuations increases in emmetropic subjects viewing low luminance targets or viewing a target through small artificial pupils. Larger microfluctuations reported in myopia may result from an abnormally large depth of focus (DoF). The effect of modulating the size of the DoF has not been investigated in myopic subjects and may help to explain the cause of the increased DoF. Accommodation microfluctuations were recorded under two experimental conditions. Firstly, 12 emmetropes (EMMs), and 24 myopes (MYOs) viewed a Maltese Cross target with luminance levels of 0.002, 0.2, 6 and 600cd/m(2) and in darkness, and second, 14 EMMs and 16 MYOs viewed a Maltese Cross target through pupil diameters of 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5mm presented in Maxwellian view. The magnitude of the accommodation microfluctuations increased significantly with a target luminance of 0.002cd/m(2) (p<.03) and pinhole diameters of <2mm (p<.05). For all other luminance levels and pupil diameters the magnitude was constant. For both conditions, MYOs had significantly larger microfluctuations than EMMs (p<.01). Considerable inter-subject variability was observed in the degree to which the magnitude of the microfluctuations increased, for both the 0.002cd/m(2) luminance and 0.5mm pupils, however, this was not correlated with refractive error. The increase in the magnitude of the microfluctuations while viewing a low luminance target (0.002cd/m(2)) may be due to a shallower contrast gradient in the cortical image, with a consequent increase in DoF. The microfluctuations also increase when viewing through small pupils (<2mm), which increases the DoF without altering the contrast gradient. The larger microfluctuations found in the MYOs consolidates the theory that MYOs have a larger DoF than EMMs and therefore have a higher threshold for retinal image blur.

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