The role of optical defocus in regulating refractive development in infant monkeys

Vision Res. 1999 Apr;39(8):1415-35. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(98)00229-6.


Early in life, the two eyes of infant primates normally grow in a coordinated manner toward the ideal refractive state. We investigated the extent to which lens-induced changes in the effective focus of the eye affected refractive development in infant rhesus monkeys. The main finding was that spectacle lenses could predictably alter the growth of one or both eyes resulting in appropriate compensating refractive changes in both the hyperopic and myopic directions. Although the effective operating range of the emmetropization process in young monkeys is somewhat limited, the results demonstrate that emmetropization in this higher primate, as in a number of other species, is an active process that is regulated by optical defocus associated with the eye's effective refractive state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisometropia / etiology
  • Anisometropia / physiopathology*
  • Biometry
  • Cornea / anatomy & histology
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Lenses*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Time Factors
  • Vision, Binocular