Simon Winter

Transverse Cromatic Aberration and Vision: Quantification and Impact Across the Visual Field

Time: Fri 2016-06-03 10.00 - 12.00

Lecturer: Simon Winter

Location: FD5

Title: Transverse Cromatic Aberration and Vision: Quantification and Impact Across the Visual Field
Candidate: Simon Winter
Time: Friday June 3, 2016, at 10:00
Location:  Room FD5, Albanova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, KTH, Stockholm
Opponent: Professor Stephen A. Burns, School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
Supervisor: Linda Lundström

Abstract: The eye is our window to the world. Human vision has therefore been extensively studied over the years. However, in-depth studies are often either limited to our central visual field, or, when extended to the periphery, only correct optical errors related to a narrow spectrum of light. This thesis extends the current knowledge by considering the full visible spectrum over a wide visual field. A broad spectrum means that the wavelength dependence of light propagation inside the eye has to be considered; the optics of the eye will therefore not form a retinal image in the same location for all wavelengths, a phenomenon called chromatic aberration.

We present here a new methodology to objectively measure the magnitude of transverse chromatic aberration (TCA) across the visual field of the human eye, and show that the ocular TCA increases linearly with off-axis angle (about 0.21 arcmin per degree for the spectral range from 543 nm to 842 nm). Moreover, we have implemented adaptive psychophysical methods to quantify the impact of TCA on central and peripheral vision. We have found that inducing additional TCA degrades peripheral grating detection acuity more than foveal resolution acuity (more than 0.05 logMAR per arcmin of induced TCA peripherally compared to 0.03 logMAR/arcmin foveally). As stimuli to evaluate peripheral vision, we recommend gratings that are obliquely-oriented relative to the visual field meridian.

The results of this thesis have clinical relevance for improving peripheral vision and are equally important for retinal imaging techniques. To limit the negative impacts of TCA on vision, inducing additional TCA should be avoided when the peripheral refractive errors are to be corrected, such as for people suffering from macular degeneration and central visual field loss. In retinal imaging applications, TCA leads to lateral offsets when imaging is performed in more than one wavelength. Consequently, the measurement of TCA together with careful pupil alignment and subsequent compensation can improve the functionality of these instruments.