Spatiotemporal transfer function of human accommodation

Vision Res. 1994 Aug;34(15):1965-80. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90026-4.


We have investigated the spatiotemporal transfer function of human "reflex" accommodation. An accommodative mechanism that is sensitive to an intermediate temporal rate of retinal image contrast change is proposed as the basis of the fine focus control hypothesis. To test the proposed mechanism accommodative responses were monitored by a dynamic infrared optometer while the subject focused on sinusoidal gratings (0.98-10.5 c/deg) which were moving sinusoidally at temporal frequencies in the range of 0.05-0.80 Hz over a 0.50 or 2.00 D peak-to-peak amplitude. The accommodative responses were best at 3 and 5 c/deg at both amplitudes of target motion. This result does not support the proposed mechanism or the fine focus control hypothesis for "reflex" accommodation. Fitting the data with first-order response functions showed little evidence of prediction. In addition, a second experiment found that the profile of the accommodative gain function is not altered by instruction at spatial frequencies above 5 c/deg in this type of dynamic accommodation experiment. The use of sinusoidally moving accommodative blur targets, particularly with careful instruction, seems to discourage voluntary accommodation in investigations of "reflex" control mechanisms of accommodation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Humans
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Time Factors