OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 25 — Dec. 7, 2009
  • pp: 23085–23097

Measuring directionality of the retinal reflection with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor

Weihua Gao, Ravi S. Jonnal, Barry Cense, Omer P. Kocaoglu, Qiang Wang, and Donald T. Miller  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 25, pp. 23085-23097 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (328 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The directional sensitivity of the retina, known as the Stiles-Crawford effect (SCE), originates from the waveguide property of photoreceptors. This effect has been extensively studied in normal and pathologic eyes using highly customized optical instrumentation. Here we investigate a new approach based on a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWS), a technology that has been traditionally employed for measuring wave aberrations (phase) of the eye and is available in clinics. Using a modified research-grade SHWS, we demonstrate in five healthy subjects and at four retinal eccentricities that intensity information can be readily extracted from the SHWS measurement and the spatial distribution of which is consistent with that produced by the optical SCE. The technique is found sufficiently sensitive even at near-infrared wavelengths where the optical SCE is faint. We demonstrate that the optical SCE signal is confined to the core of the SHWS spots with the tails being diffuse and non-directional, suggesting cones fail to recapture light that is multiply scattered in the retina. The high sensitivity of the SHWS to the optical SCE raises concern as to how this effect, intrinsic to the retina, may impact the SHWS measurement of ocular aberrations.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(330.4300) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision system - noninvasive assessment
(330.5310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - photoreceptors

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: September 28, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 21, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: November 24, 2009
Published: December 2, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 5, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Weihua Gao, Ravi S. Jonnal, Barry Cense, Omer P. Kocaoglu, Qiang Wang, and Donald T. Miller, "Measuring directionality of the retinal reflection with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor," Opt. Express 17, 23085-23097 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. W. S. Stiles and B. H. Crawford, “The luminous efficiency of rays entering the eye pupil at different points,” Proc. R. Soc. Lond., B 112(778), 428–450 (1933). [CrossRef]
  2. G. J. van Blokland, “Directionality and alignment of the foveal receptors, assessed with light scattered from the human fundus in vivo,” Vision Res. 26(3), 495–500 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. S. A. Burns, S. Wu, F. Delori, and A. E. Elsner, “Direct measurement of human-cone-photoreceptor alignment,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12(10), 2329–2338 (1995). [CrossRef]
  4. J. M. Gorrand and F. Delori, “A reflectometric technique for assessing photoreceptor alignment,” Vision Res. 35(7), 999–1010 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. N. P. Zagers, J. van de Kraats, T. T. Berendschot, and D. van Norren, “Simultaneous measurement of foveal spectral reflectance and cone-photoreceptor directionality,” Appl. Opt. 41(22), 4686–4696 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. W. Gao, B. Cense, Y. Zhang, R. S. Jonnal, and D. T. Miller, “Measuring retinal contributions to the optical Stiles-Crawford effect with optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 16(9), 6486–6501 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. W. Gao, R. S. Jonnal, B. Cense, and D. T. Miller, “Measuring directionality of the retinal reflection with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor,” in Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers' 2009 International Symposium on Ophthalmic Technologies XIX(San Jose, CA, 2009).
  8. W. Gao, R. S. Jonnal, B. Cense, O. Kocaoglu, Q. Wang, and D. T. Miller, “Photoreceptor directionality measured with Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensing,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 50, 2741 (2009).
  9. S. Marcos, and S. A. Burns, “Cone directionality from laser ray tracing in normal and LASIK patients,” Journal of Modern Optics, 1–8, iFirst (2009).
  10. “American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers ANSI Z136.1,” (Laser Institute of America, Orlando, FL) (2000).
  11. J. Porter, H. Queener, J. Lin, K. Thorn, and A. A. S. Awwal, Adaptive Optics for Vision Science: Principles, Practices, Design and Applications (Wiley, 2006).
  12. N. López-Gil and P. Artal, “Comparison of double-pass estimates of the retinal-image quality obtained with green and near-infrared light,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14(5), 961–971 (1997). [CrossRef]
  13. J. M. Gorrand and M. Doly, “Alignment parameters of foveal cones,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 26(5), 1260–1267 (2009). [CrossRef]
  14. S. Marcos, S. A. Burns, and J. C. He, “Model for cone directionality reflectometric measurements based on scattering,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15(8), 2012–2022 (1998). [CrossRef]
  15. S. Marcos and S. A. Burns, “Cone spacing and waveguide properties from cone directionality measurements,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16(5), 995–1004 (1999). [CrossRef]
  16. N. P. A. Zagers, T. T. J. M. Berendschot, and D. van Norren, “Wavelength dependence of reflectometric cone photoreceptor directionality,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20(1), 18–23 (2003). [CrossRef]
  17. J. van de Kraats and D. van Norren, “Directional and nondirectional spectral reflection from the human fovea,” J. Biomed. Opt. 13(2), 024010 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. C. A. Curcio, K. R. Sloan, R. E. Kalina, and A. E. Hendrickson, “Human photoreceptor topography,” J. Comp. Neurol. 292(4), 497–523 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. W. Gao, B. Cense, C. Zhu, R. S. Jonnal, and D. T. Miller, “Impact of fundus structure on wavefront sensing of ocular aberrations,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49, 2836 (2008).
  20. H. Song, Y. Zhao, X. Qi, Y. T. Chui, and S. A. Burns, “Stokes vector analysis of adaptive optics images of the retina,” Opt. Lett. 33(2), 137–139 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. E. Götzinger, M. Pircher, W. Geitzenauer, C. Ahlers, B. Baumann, S. Michels, U. Schmidt-Erfurth, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Retinal pigment epithelium segmentation by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Express 16(21), 16410–16422 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. B. B. Cense, W. Gao, J. M. Brown, S. M. Jones, R. S. Jonnal, M. Mujat, B. H. Park, J. F. de Boer, and D. T. Miller, “Retinal Imaging with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography and adaptive optics,” Opt. Express 17(24), 21634–21651 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited