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Optom Vis Sci. 2012 Jul;89(7):E954-66. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31825c3454.

The Glenn A. Fry Award Lecture 2011: Peripheral optics of the human eye.

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School of Optometry & Vision Science and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia.


There has been a low level of interest in peripheral aberrations and corresponding image quality for over 200 years. Most work have been concerned with the second-order aberrations of defocus and astigmatism that can be corrected with conventional lenses. Studies have found high levels of aberration, often amounting to several dioptres, even in eyes with only small central defocus and astigmatism. My investigations have contributed to understanding shape changes in the eye with increases in myopia, changes in eye optics with ageing, and how surgical interventions intended to correct central refractive errors have unintended effects on peripheral optics.My research group has measured peripheral second- and higher-order aberrations over a 42° horizontal × 32° vertical diameter visual field. There is substantial variation in individual aberrations with age and pathology. While the higher-order aberrations in the periphery are usually small compared with second-order aberrations, they can be substantial and change considerably after refractive surgery.The thrust of my research in the next few years is to understand more about the peripheral aberrations of the human eye, to measure visual performance in the periphery and determine whether this can be improved by adaptive optics correction, to use measurements of peripheral aberrations to learn more about the optics of the eye and in particular the gradient index structure of the lens, and to investigate ways of increasing the size of the field of good retinal image quality.

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