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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 29, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2012
  • pp: 1667–1672

Impact of positive coupling of the eye’s trefoil and coma in retinal image quality and visual acuity

Eloy A. Villegas, Encarna Alcón, and Pablo Artal  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 29, Issue 8, pp. 1667-1672 (2012)

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When the eye’s higher-order aberrations are measured and reported, as important as the magnitude of each individual term are the possible combinations between them, which may change the overall retinal image quality and therefore visual performance. We have evaluated the relationships among different aberration terms in the human eye—coma, trefoil, and spherical aberration—and their effects on both retinal image quality and visual acuity (VA). In a group of normal young subjects with normal to excellent vision, we measured the eye’s aberrations and high contrast VA under natural conditions after carefully correcting defocus and astigmatism. Among the different combinations of aberration terms, we only found a significant negative correlation (r2=0.30) between the vertical coefficients of trefoil C(3,3) and coma C(3,1). This is a positive coupling that produces a better retinal image quality than any of the other possible combinations of these terms. However, this improvement in image quality is limited by the presence of other aberrations. Only in a few eyes that presented the larger values of coupled vertical trefoil and coma appeared a significant improvement of image quality. Although we did not find a clear correction between the coma-trefoil vertical coupling and VA, most eyes with large amounts of aberrations (RMS>0.4μm) have these terms coupled, keeping decimal acuity around 1.2 or higher.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.3000) Imaging systems : Image quality assessment
(220.1010) Optical design and fabrication : Aberrations (global)
(330.1070) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - acuity
(330.4875) Vision, color, and visual optics : Optics of physiological systems
(330.7326) Vision, color, and visual optics : Visual optics, modeling

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: March 9, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 21, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 24, 2012
Published: July 24, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Eloy A. Villegas, Encarna Alcón, and Pablo Artal, "Impact of positive coupling of the eye’s trefoil and coma in retinal image quality and visual acuity," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, 1667-1672 (2012)

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