Abstract

We compare two methods for measuring the modulation transfer function (MTF) of the human eye: an interferometric method similar to that of Campbell and Green [ J. Physiol. (London) 181, 576 ( 1965)] and a double-pass procedure similar to that of Santamaria et al. [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1109 ( 1987)]. We implemented various improvements in both techniques to reduce error in the estimates of the MTF. We used the same observers, refractive state, pupil size (3 mm), and wavelength (632.8 nm) for both methods. In the double-pass method we found close agreement between the plane of subjective best focus for the observer and the plane of objective best focus, suggesting that much of the reflected light is confined within individual cones throughout its double pass through the receptor layer. The double-pass method produced MTF’s that were similar to but slightly lower than those of the interferometric method. This additional loss in modulation transfer is probably attributable to light reflected from the choroid, because green light, which reduces the contribution of the choroid to the fundus reflection, produces somewhat higher MTF’s that are consistent with the interferometric results. When either method is used, the MTF’s lie well below those obtained with the aberroscope method [ Vision Res. 28, 659 ( 1988)]. On the basis of the interferometric method, we propose a new estimate of the monochromatic MTF of the eye.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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