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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 29 — Oct. 10, 2007
  • pp: 7244–7251

Nonlinearity in the rotational dynamics of Haidinger's brushes

Mark Rothmayer, Wolfgang Dultz, Erna Frins, Qiwen Zhan, Dennis Tierney, and Heidrun Schmitzer  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 29, pp. 7244-7251 (2007)

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Haidinger's brushes are an entoptic effect of the human visual system that enables us to detect polarized light. However, individual perceptions of Haidinger's brushes can vary significantly. We find that the birefringence of the cornea influences the rotational motion and the contrast of Haidinger's brushes and may offer an explanation for individual differences. We have devised an experimental setup to simulate various phase shifts of the cornea and found a switching effect in the rotational dynamics of Haidinger's brushes. In addition, age related macular degeneration reduces the polarization effect of the macula and thus also leads to changes in the brush pattern.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(000.2690) General : General physics
(000.2700) General : General science
(170.4460) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmic optics and devices
(170.4470) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmology
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: February 27, 2007
Revised Manuscript: August 10, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: August 12, 2007
Published: October 5, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Mark Rothmayer, Wolfgang Dultz, Erna Frins, Qiwen Zhan, Dennis Tierney, and Heidrun Schmitzer, "Nonlinearity in the rotational dynamics of Haidinger's brushes," Appl. Opt. 46, 7244-7251 (2007)

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