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Li Chen, Denise Gutierrez, Pablo Artal, David R. Williams; Does the best aberrations correction for the eye depend on neural factors?. Journal of Vision 2004;4(11):48. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/4.11.48.
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Artal et al. (2004) suggested the eye is adapted to its particular pattern of higher order aberrations, because the subjective blur produced when viewing a scene through one's own wave aberration was less that that when the wave aberration was rotated. Here we address the issue of whether neural adaptation modifies the aberration correction that produces the best subjective image quality. Such an effect would have important consequences for customized vision correction because the best outcome might require partial rather than complete correction. With the Rochester Adaptive Optics Ophthalmoscope we temporarily replaced the wave aberration from a subject with another wave aberration that was the same in shape as the original, but was rescaled in amplitude by a factor ranging from −1 to +1. A value of 1 corresponds to the subject's wave aberration, 0 corresponds to the minimum rms of the wave aberration, and −1 corresponds to a wave aberration of the same amplitude as the original but of opposite sign. Three observers adjusted the scaling factor to optimize subjective image quality of a target consisting of sharp edges at all orientations. All three subjects chose a scaling factor significantly greater than zero, with a mean value of about 0.10. This result could indicate neural adaptation, since the best image quality occurs when the wave aberration has the same sign as that in the subject's eye under normal viewing. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that a small bias in our adaptive optics system is responsible. If neural adaptation does modify the best aberration correction, it is a small effect in these observers (∼10%), and correcting all the higher order aberrations gives substantially better subjective image quality than leaving them uncorrected.
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