Impact of longitudinal chromatic aberration on through-focus visual acuity

Optics Express
Nikolai Suchkov, Enrique J. Fernández, Pablo Artal

Abstract: An enhanced adaptive optics visual simulator (AOVS) was used to study the impact of chromatic aberration on vision. In particular, through-focus visual acuity (VA) was measured in four subjects under three longitudinal chromatic aberration (LCA) conditions: natural LCA, compensated LCA and doubled LCA. Ray-tracing simulations using a chromatic eye model were also performed for a better understanding of experimental results. Simulations predicted the optical quality of the retinal images and VA by applying a semi-empirical formula. Experimental and ray tracing results showed a significant agreement in the natural LCA case (R2 = 0.92). Modifying the LCA caused an impairment in the predictability of the results, with decreasing correlations between experiment and simulations (compensated LCA, R2 = 0.84; doubled LCA, R2 = 0.59). VA under modified LCA was systematically overestimated by the model around the best focus position. The results provided useful information on how LCA manipulation affects the depth of focus. Decreased capability of the model to predict VA in modified LCA conditions suggests that neural adaptation may play a role.