Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that targets illuminated by monochromatic (narrow-band) light are less effective in stimulating the eye to change its focus than are black–white (broadband) targets. The present study investigates the influence of target spectral bandwidth on the dynamic accommodation response in eight subjects. The fixation target was a 3.5-cycle/deg square-wave grating illuminated by midspectral light of various bandwidths [10, 40, and 80 nm and white (CIE Illuminant B)]. The target was moved sinusoidally toward and away from the eye, and accommodation responses were recorded and Fourier analyzed. Accommodative gain increases, and phase lag decreases, with increasing spectral bandwidth. Thus the eye focuses more accurately on targets of wider spectral bandwidth. The visual system appears to have the ability to analyze polychromatic blur to determine the state of focus of the eye for the purpose of guiding the accommodation response.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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