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Y Z Wang, L N Thibos, A Bradley; Effects of refractive error on detection acuity and resolution acuity in peripheral vision.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(10):2134-2143. doi: https://doi.org/.
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of refractive error on detection acuity and resolution acuity in peripheral vision. METHODS: Detection acuity, defined as the highest spatial frequency for which luminance gratings can be discriminated from a uniform field, and resolution acuity, defined as the highest spatial frequency for which spatial patterns are perceived veridically, was determined for vertical and horizontal gratings located at 20 degrees, 30 degrees, and 40 degrees of eccentricity. Resolution was also measured for tumbling-E discrimination at these locations. Refractive state of the eye for test targets was manipulated by introducing an ophthalmic trial lens into the line of sight for the stimulus while holding accommodative state fixed. RESULTS: Detection acuity in the periphery varied significantly with the amount of optical defocus, whereas acuity for grating resolution or letter discrimination was unaffected by defocus over a large range (up to 6 D). These results are consistent with the working hypothesis that detection acuity in the periphery is limited by contrast insufficiency under normal viewing conditions, but resolution is limited by ambiguity because of neural undersampling. CONCLUSIONS: The large depth of focus for resolution acuity measured for peripheral vision indicates that spatial resolution is likely to remain sampling-limited even when peripheral refractive errors are not fully corrected, thus relaxing the methodologic requirements for obtaining noninvasive estimates of neural sampling density of the living eye in a clinical setting.
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