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Polarization and retinal image quality estimates in the human eye

We have previously studied how polarization affects the double-pass estimates of the retinal image quality by using an imaging polarimeter [Opt. Lett. 24, 64 (1999)]. A series of 16 images for independent combinations of polarization states in the polarimeter were recorded to obtain the spatially resolved Mueller matrices of the eye. From these matrices, double-pass images of a point source for light with different combinations of incoming (first-pass) and outcoming (second-pass) polarization states were reconstructed and their corresponding modulation transfer functions were calculated. We found that the retinal image or, alternatively, the ocular aberrations, are nearly independent of the state of polarization of the incident light (in the first pass). This means that a significant improvement in the ocular optics by using a specific type of polarized light could not be achieved. However, quite different estimates of the retinal image quality are obtained for combinations of polarization states in both the first and the second passes in the double-pass apparatus. © 2001 Optical Society of America

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