Retinal sampling poses a fundamental limit to resolution acuity in the periphery. However, reduced image quality from optical aberrations may also influence peripheral resolution. In this study, we investigate the impact of different degrees of optical correction on acuity in the periphery. We used an adaptive optics system to measure and modify the off-axis aberrations of the right eye of six normal subjects at 20° eccentricity. The system consists of a Hartmann-Shack sensor, a deformable mirror, and a channel for visual testing. Four different optical corrections were tested, ranging from foveal sphero-cylindrical correction to full correction of eccentric low- and high-order monochromatic aberrations. High-contrast visual acuity was measured in green light using a forced choice procedure with Landolt C’s, viewed via the deformable mirror through a 4.8-mm artificial pupil. The Zernike terms mainly induced by eccentricity were defocus and with- and against-the-rule astigmatism and each correction condition was successfully implemented. On average, resolution decimal visual acuity improved from 0.057 to 0.061 as the total root-mean-square wavefront error changed from 1.01 μm to 0.05 μm. However, this small tendency of improvement in visual acuity with correction was not significant. The results suggest that for our experimental conditions and subjects, the resolution acuity in the periphery cannot be improved with optical correction.
©2007 Optical Society of America