To better understand how the eye’s optics affects stereopsis, we measured stereoacuity before and after higher-order aberration (HOA) correction with a binocular adaptive optics visual simulator. The HOAs were corrected either binocularly or monocularly in the better eye (the eye with better contrast sensitivity). A two-line stereo pattern served as the visual stimulus. Stereo thresholds at different viewing durations were obtained with the psychophysical method of constant stimuli. Binocular HOA correction led to significant improvement in stereoacuity. However, better eye HOA correction could bring either a bad degradation or a slight improvement in stereoacuity. As viewing duration increased, the stereo benefit approached the level of 1.0 for both binocular and better eye correction, suggesting that long viewing durations might weaken the effects of the eye’s optical quality on stereopsis.
A novel adaptive optics vision simulator (AOVS) is presented and characterized for several design features, including automated measuring and compensating eye’s aberrations up to the fifth order, which fully cover aberrations typically found in the human eye, even for the cases of highly aberrated eyes. Especially, it is equipped with 35 elements bimorph deformable mirror with bigger stroke and smaller size, which could help establish near-diffraction-limited ocular optics condition. To investigate the validity of this apparatus, pilot data under different aberration correction pattern from one subjects are collected, and contrast sensitivity function (CSF), an important psychophysical function in vision, is obtained also. Results from living eyes show a practically perfect aberration correction and demonstrate the utility of this system.