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Christoph Strauch, Marnix Naber; Irissometry: Effects of Pupil Size on Iris Elasticity Measured With Video-Based Feature Tracking. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(2):20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.2.20.
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It is unclear how the iris deforms during changes in pupil size. Here, we report an application of a multi-feature iris tracking method, which we call irissometry, to investigate how the iris deforms and affects the eye position signal as a function of pupil size.
To evoke pupillary responses, we repeatedly presented visual and auditory stimuli to healthy participants while we additionally recorded their right eye with a macro lens–equipped camera. We tracked changes in iris surface structure between the pupil and sclera border (limbus) by calculating local densities (distance between feature points) across evenly spaced annular iris regions.
The time analysis of densities showed that the inner regions of the iris stretched more strongly as compared with the outer regions of the iris during pupil constrictions. The pattern of iris densities across eccentricities and pupil size showed highly similar patterns across participants, highlighting the robustness of this elastic property. Importantly, iris-based eye position detection led to more stable signals than pupil-based detection.
The iris regions near the pupil appear to be more elastic than the outer regions near the sclera. This elastic property explains the instability of the pupil border and the related position errors induced by eye movement and pupil size in pupil-based eye-tracking. Tracking features in the iris produce more robust eye position signals. We expect that irissometry may pave the way to novel eye trackers and diagnostic tools in ophthalmology.
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