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Perceptual Adaptation to the Correction of Natural Astigmatism

AuthorsViñas, María ; Sawides, L. ; Gracia, Pablo de ; Marcos, Susana
Issue Date2012
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 7: e46361 (2012)
AbstractBackground: The visual system adjusts to changes in the environment, as well as to changes within the observer, adapting continuously to maintain a match between visual coding and visual environment. We evaluated whether the perception of oriented blur is biased by the native astigmatism, and studied the time course of the after-effects following spectacle correction of astigmatism in habitually non-corrected astigmats. Methods and Findings: We tested potential shifts of the perceptual judgments of blur orientation in 21 subjects. The psychophysical test consisted on a single interval orientation identification task in order to measure the perceived isotropic point (astigmatism level for which the image did not appear oriented to the subject) from images artificially blurred with constant blur strength (B = 1.5 D), while modifying the orientation of the blur according to the axis of natural astigmatism of the subjects. Measurements were performed after neutral (gray field) adaptation on naked eyes under full correction of low and high order aberrations. Longitudinal measurements (up to 6 months) were performed in three groups of subjects: non-astigmats and corrected and uncorrected astigmats. Uncorrected astigmats were provided with proper astigmatic correction immediately after the first session. Non-astigmats did not show significant bias in their perceived neutral point, while in astigmatic subjects the perceived neutral point was significantly biased, typically towards their axis of natural astigmatism. Previously uncorrected astigmats shifted significantly their perceived neutral point towards more isotropic images shortly (2 hours) after astigmatic correction wear, and, once stabilized, remained constant after 6 months. The shift of the perceived neutral point after correction of astigmatism was highly correlated with the amount of natural astigmatism. Conclusions: Non-corrected astigmats appear to be naturally adapted to their astigmatism, and astigmatic correction significantly changes their perception of their neutral point, even after a brief period of adaptation. © 2012 Vinas et al.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046361
issn: 1932-6203
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