Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Young Adult, Humans, Astigmatism, Anisotropy, Contrast Sensitivity
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of visual adaptation to orientation-dependent optical blur on meridional contrast sensitivity function in artificially imposed astigmatism.
METHODS: The study adopted a top-up adapt-test paradigm. During the blur adaptation process, the 18 non-astigmatic young adult participants were briefly presented with natural scene images (first trial, 10 minutes; subsequent trials, 6 seconds). Contrast sensitivities for horizontal and vertical gratings at spatial frequencies ranging from 1 to 8 cycles per degree (cpd) were measured immediately before and after adaptation to +3.00 diopters cylinder (DC) with-the-rule or against-the-rule astigmatism. Meridional anisotropy was measured to quantify the contrast sensitivity difference between the two grating orientations.
RESULTS: Adapting to astigmatic blur enhanced contrast sensitivity at the blurred power meridian but reduced contrast sensitivity at the least affected axis meridian. In with-the-rule conditions, contrast sensitivity for horizontal gratings was significantly increased, whereas that for vertical gratings was significantly decreased. Similarly, in against-the-rule conditions, contrast sensitivity for vertical gratings was significantly increased, whereas that for horizontal gratings was significantly decreased. These two factors together resulted in a substantial systematic reduction, averaging 34%, in meridional anisotropy of contrast sensitivity across the spatial frequency spectrum.
CONCLUSIONS: Astigmatism adaptation occurs in natural scene viewing. Brief exposure to astigmatic blur altered contrast sensitivity in the opposite direction at the two principal meridians, indicating that the mature visual system possesses functional plasticity to recalibrate the response characteristics of orientationally tuned cortical filters and thus promote substantial reductions of meridional anisotropy in astigmatic vision, to some extent counterbalancing the elongated oval shape of astigmatic blur.
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Leung, Tsz-Wing; Li, Roger W.; and Kee, Chea-Su, "Brief Adaptation to Astigmatism Reduces Meridional Anisotropy in Contrast Sensitivity." (2023). HPD Articles. 296.
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