Visual optics research

Senior scientist(s): Linda Lundström, Peter Unsbo

We investigate the system of the human eye with the aim of improving peripheral vision for people with central visual field loss.

Visual optics is the science of how the optics of the eye forms an image that is then detected and interpreted by the retina and the brain. The field has advanced fast during the last decades due to the advent of wavefront sensing and adaptive optics correction [1]. The visual optics group at KTH plays a central role in developing these techniques for the off-axis optical errors of the human eye and for psychophysical evaluation of the peripheral visual function (cf. Fig. 1 and [2]).

Apart from basic research, peripheral optical errors are of interest for two applications. First, the correction of peripheral errors can be of great importance for people with central visual field loss, caused by, e.g., macula degeneration. We have found improvements of up to two lines when providing this group with the proper spectacle correction [3]. Second, there are indications that the image quality on the peripheral retina is one of the factors that control the growth of the eye and thereby the progression of myopia [4]. We are therefore investigating how different chromatic and monochromatic aberrations affect the retinal image quality and how the eye may use asymmetries to tell the sign of defocus in the periphery. This work has been and is currently performed within the Marie Curie ITN projects OpAL and MyFUN.


  1. J. Porter et al., Adaptive Optics for Vision Science, John Wiley & Sons (2006).
  2. R. Rosén et al., J. Mod. Opt. 59, 1064 (2012).
  3. L. Lundström et al., Optom. Vis. Sci. 84, 1046 (2007).
  4. See, e.g., J. Wallman and J. Winawer, Neuron. 43 (2004).
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