Abstract

Haidinger's brushes are an entoptic effect of the human visual system that enables us to detect polarized light. However, individual perceptions of Haidinger's brushes can vary significantly. We find that the birefringence of the cornea influences the rotational motion and the contrast of Haidinger's brushes and may offer an explanation for individual differences. We have devised an experimental setup to simulate various phase shifts of the cornea and found a switching effect in the rotational dynamics of Haidinger's brushes. In addition, age related macular degeneration reduces the polarization effect of the macula and thus also leads to changes in the brush pattern.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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