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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 65, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 1975
  • pp: 1121–1128

Night myopia and the intermediate dark focus of accommodation

H. W. Leibowitz and D. A. Owens  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 65, Issue 10, pp. 1121-1128 (1975)

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The phenomenon of night myopia, the tendency to overaccommodate for distant objects as luminance is decreased, results from the passive return of accommodation to an individually determined intermediate resting or dark focus. More generally, accommodation is viewed as a compromise between the subject's individual resting focus and the accommodative stimulus. Under optimum viewing conditions, accommodation tends to correspond to the distance of the stimulus, but is biased progressively toward the dark focus as the adequady of the accommodative stimulus is degraded by decreased luminance. Control experiments suggest that optical aberrations are not major factors that contribute to this effect.

H. W. Leibowitz and D. A. Owens, "Night myopia and the intermediate dark focus of accommodation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 1121-1128 (1975)

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  25. The authors are indebted to Dr. Lewis O. Harvey, Jr. and to John T. Fisher, M.D. and Channing Nicholas, M. D. for their advice and assistance.
  26. The combined effect of spherical and chromatic aberrations has been estimated to be only 0.5–0.75 D, which is considerably less than the magnitude of night myopia shown by the majority of the subjects in the present study. Spherical aberration, as well as other effects associated with large pupils, should be exaggerated by pupil dilation; this was not found in Experiment III. The possible contribution of these factors, in addition to those of chromatic aberration and the Purkinje shift, seem to be minimized by the fact that all luminance levels in the present study were photopic.
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