Abstract

Theory predicts that retinal image size will vary with wavelength. However, this chromatic difference of magnification (CDM) is likely to be very small (<1% between 400 and 700 nm) under natural viewing conditions. There has been only one attempt to measure CDM experimentally, and the results were inconsistent with optical theory. Using a technique described by Ogle [ Research in Binocular Vision, Hafner, New York ( 1964)], which is sensitive to even small interocular differences in retinal image size, we measured the apparent tilts in the frontoparallel plane induced by interocular differences in wavelength. We obtained the ocular CDM by determining the afocal lens magnification necessary to cancel the apparent frontoparallel plane tilt caused by interocular differences in wavelength. We show that (1) the ocular CDM can be considerably less than theoretical model predictions, (2) the relationship among ΔRx (wavelength-dependent refractive error), CDM, and pupil position is consistent with our theoretical model, (3) CDM increases considerably when an artificial pupil in front of the eye is used, (4) the location of the anterior nodal point of the eye may be inferred from the data, and (5) unlike in the case for ΔRx, large intersubjective differences may exist for CDM. The results suggest caution in the use of artificial pupils experimentally with polychromatic stimuli because of amplification of CDM and concomitant losses of image contrast.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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