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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2001
  • pp: 497–506

Dynamics of the eye’s wave aberration

Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Ben Singer, Juan Luis Aragón, and David R. Williams  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 18, Issue 3, pp. 497-506 (2001)

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It is well known that the eye’s optics exhibit temporal instability in the form of microfluctuations in focus; however, almost nothing is known of the temporal properties of the eye’s other aberrations. We constructed a real-time Hartmann–Shack (HS) wave-front sensor to measure these dynamics at frequencies as high as 60 Hz. To reduce spatial inhomogeneities in the short-exposure HS images, we used a low-coherence source and a scanning system. HS images were collected on three normal subjects with natural and paralyzed accommodation. Average temporal power spectra were computed for the wave-front rms, the Seidel aberrations, and each of 32 Zernike coefficients. The results indicate the presence of fluctuations in all of the eye’s aberration, not just defocus. Fluctuations in higher-order aberrations share similar spectra and bandwidths both within and between subjects, dropping at a rate of approximately 4 dB per octave in temporal frequency. The spectrum shape for higher-order aberrations is generally different from that for microfluctuations of accommodation. The origin of these measured fluctuations is not known, and both corneal/lenticular and retinal causes are considered. Under the assumption that they are purely corneal or lenticular, calculations suggest that a perfect adaptive optics system with a closed-loop bandwidth of 1–2 Hz could correct these aberrations well enough to achieve diffraction-limited imaging over a dilated pupil.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.5370) Vision, color, and visual optics : Physiological optics
(330.6130) Vision, color, and visual optics : Spatial resolution
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

Original Manuscript: December 23, 1999
Revised Manuscript: August 21, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: August 21, 2000
Published: March 1, 2001

Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Ben Singer, Juan Luis Aragón, and David R. Williams, "Dynamics of the eye’s wave aberration," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 497-506 (2001)

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