The development of technology to measure and correct the eye’s higher-order aberrations, i.e., those beyond defocus and astigmatism, raises the issue of how much visual benefit can be obtained by providing such correction. We demonstrate improvements in contrast sensitivity and visual acuity in white light and in monochromatic light when adaptive optics corrects the eye’s higher-order monochromatic aberrations. In white light, the contrast sensitivity and visual acuity when most monochromatic aberrations are corrected with a deformable mirror are somewhat higher than when defocus and astigmatism alone are corrected. Moreover, viewing conditions in which monochromatic aberrations are corrected and chromatic aberrations are avoided provides an even larger improvement in contrast sensitivity and visual acuity. These results are in reasonable agreement with the theoretical improvement calculated from the eye’s optical modulation transfer function.
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