Development of Accommodation and Refractive State in the Eyes of Humans and Chickens

  • Howard C. Howland
  • Frank Schaeffel
Part of the Perspectives in Vision Research book series (PIVR)


The optical quality of the eyes of some higher vertebrates (mainly primates and birds) is so good that aberrations induced by the image-forming structures are not the limiting factor of optical resolution. Instead, diffraction of light at the pupil aperture prohibits a further improvement of the optical resolution at the particular eye size. To attain such optical quality, considerable precision in the arrangement of the ocular structures is required. It can be calculated that for an emmetropic human eye with a depth of focus of about 0.5 D (Campbell, 1957), the retina may not move out of its proper position by more than about 100 µm without detectable loss of resolution. (Emmetropia is the technical name for that condition where a distant image is in good focus on the retina with resting accommodation.)


Pupil Diameter Refractive State Corneal Curvature Pathological Myopia Positive Lens 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard C. Howland
    • 1
  • Frank Schaeffel
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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