The Stiles–Crawford effect (SCE) of the first kind has often been considered to be important to spatial visual performance in that it ameliorates the influence of defocus and aberrations. We investigated the influence of SCE apodization on visual acuity as a function of defocus (out to 62 D) in four subjects. We used optical filters, conjugate with the eye’s entrance pupil, that neutralized or doubled the existing SCE. With an illiterate-E task, the influence of the SCE was more noticeable for myopic defocus than for hypermetropic defocus, was generally more noticeable for high-contrast than for low-contrast letters, and increased with increase in pupil size. The greatest influence on visual acuity of neutralizing the SCE, across the subjects and range of conditions, was deterioration of 0.06 (4-mm pupil), 0.16 (6-mm pupil), and 0.29 log unit (7.6-mm pupil).
© 2002 Optical Society of America