June 1980
Volume 19, Issue 6
Articles  |   June 1980
Visual consequences of the foveal pit.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1980, Vol.19, 653-667. doi:
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      D R Williams; Visual consequences of the foveal pit.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1980;19(6):653-667.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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When viewing a uniform field through a small aperture moved circularly before the pupil of the eye, many observers report a diffuse dim spot subtending roughly 1 degree visual angle, which rolls around the fixation point in synchrony with the motion of the aperture. Measurements of the Stiles-Crawford maximum for different locations within the fovea confirm that small but systematic shifts in foveal directional sensitivity are responsible for this entoptic effect. A quantitative model is developed which accounts for the directional sensitivity shifts on the basis of refraction of light at the sloping sides of the foveal pit. Supporting evidence for the model is provided by a second entoptic phenomenon: fundal scatter from the image of a glare source on the eccentric retina is reflected by the foveal pit in such a way as to render it visible. Estimates of the slope of the foveal pit from this effect agree well with that predicted from the observed shifts in directional sensitivity.


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