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J Vis. 2009 Jun 24;9(6):12.1-20. doi: 10.1167/9.6.12.

Blur on the retina due to higher-order aberrations: comparison of eye growth models to experimental data.

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Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0270, USA.


In the simplest model of eye growth, the ocular optics uniformly scale upwards, as do monochromatic higher-order aberrations (HOA) and linear blur on the retina. However, measured HOA remain constant or decrease with growth in some species. A new model, which holds HOA and the associated linear blur on the retina constant, was used to predict changes in HOA and resulting image quality on the retina during growth, in each of chick, monkey, and human. Models used rates of growth in each of the three species. Angular optical quality on the retina due to HOA, and its metrics improved, in contrast to the constancy predicted by uniform scaling. The model with constant linear HOA blur predicts well the improvement in human optical quality between infant and adult. Overall, in chick and monkey, angular blur improves at a rate faster than that predicted by the constant linear blur model, implying that linear retinal blur due to HOA decreases with age. On the other hand, in chick, angular blur due to third-order aberrations decreased at a rate predicted by the constant linear blur model. Growth changes in retinal blur due to HOA are species dependent but can be better understood by comparison with the new model predictions.

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