Individual photoreceptor waveguiding suggests that the entire retina can be considered as a composite fiber-optic element relating a retinal image to a corresponding waveguided image. In such a scheme, a visual sensation is produced only when the latter interacts with the pigments of the outer photoreceptor segments. Here the possible consequences of photoreceptor waveguiding on vision are studied with important implications for the pupil-apodization method commonly used to incorporate directional effects of the retina. In the absence of aberrations, it is found that the two approaches give identical predictions for an effective retinal image only when the pupil apodization is chosen twice as narrow as suggested by the traditional Stiles–Crawford effect. In addition, phase variations in the retinal field due to ocular aberrations can delicately alter a waveguided image, and this may provide plausible justification for an improved visual sensation as compared with what should be expected on the grounds of a retinal image only.
© 2007 Optical Society of America