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David A. Atchison, Emma L. Valentine, Georgina Gibson, Hannah R. Thomas, Sera Oh, Young Ah Pyo, Philippe Lacherez, Ankit Mathur; Vision in water. Journal of Vision 2013;13(11):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.11.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The purpose of this study is to determine visual performance in water, including the influence of pupil size. The water environment was simulated by placing goggles filled with saline in front of the eyes with apertures placed at the front of the goggles. Correction factors were determined for the different magnification under this condition in order to estimate vision in water. Experiments were conducted on letter visual acuity (seven participants), grating resolution (eight participants), and grating contrast sensitivity (one participant). For letter acuity, mean loss of vision in water, compared to corrected vision in air, varied between 1.1 log min of arc resolution (logMAR) for a 1 mm aperture to 2.2 logMAR for a 7 mm aperture. The vision in min of arc was described well by a linear relationship with pupil size. For grating acuity, mean loss varied between 1.1 logMAR for a 2 mm aperture to 1.2 logMAR for a 6 mm aperture. Contrast sensitivity for a 2 mm aperture deteriorated as spatial frequency increased with a 2 log unit loss by 3 c/°. Superimposed on this deterioration were depressions (notches) in sensitivity with the first three notches occurring at 0.45, 0.8, and 1.3 c/° with estimates for water of 0.39, 0.70, and 1.13 c/°. In conclusion, vision in water is poor. It becomes worse as pupil size increases, but the effects are much more marked for letter targets than for grating targets.
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