Chromatic aberration and accommodation: their role in emmetropization in the chick

Vision Res. 1993 Aug;33(12):1593-603. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(93)90026-s.


The roles of chromatic aberration and accommodation as cues to emmetropization in the chick were investigated. Myopia was induced monocularly by lid suture for a period of 1-2 weeks from hatching, after which eyes were reopened and the recovery process followed. Monochromatic light (ML) rearing conditions and ciliary nerve section surgery were used to eliminate chromatic aberration and accommodative activity respectively. Control animals were reared in white light (WL). When accommodation was left intact, chickens reared under monochromatic light were able to recover normally. However, ciliary nerve section produced hyperopia, deepening of the anterior chamber and a tendency towards axial lens thinning, irrespective of the light conditions used. Hyperopic refractive errors peaked at 4 weeks (mean refractive errors: +5.7 D, +4.21 D for ML, WL groups respectively, 4 weeks), with the ML group still exhibiting significant hyperopia at 7 weeks. Ciliary nerve section did not prevent the myopic response to lid suture (mean refractive errors: -22.65 D; -25 D for ML, WL groups respectively, 1 week) nor the elimination of myopia when eyes were reopened. These data indicate that neither accommodation nor chromatic aberration are fundamental to the gross operation of the emmetropization process although they may be essential for the fine tuning of refraction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Chickens / physiology*
  • Ciliary Body / innervation
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Eyelids / surgery
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Myopia / psychology
  • Sutures