Supernormal vision and high-resolution retinal imaging through adaptive optics

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 1997 Nov;14(11):2884-92. doi: 10.1364/josaa.14.002884.


Even when corrected with the best spectacles or contact lenses, normal human eyes still suffer from monochromatic aberrations that blur vision when the pupil is large. We have successfully corrected these aberrations using adaptive optics, providing normal eyes with supernormal optical quality. Contrast sensitivity to fine spatial patterns was increased when observers viewed stimuli through adaptive optics. The eye's aberrations also limit the resolution of images of the retina, a limit that has existed since the invention of the ophthalmoscope. We have constructed a fundus camera equipped with adaptive optics that provides unprecedented resolution, allowing the imaging of microscopic structures the size of single cells in the living human retina.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular