"THE LIMITS OF HUMAN VISION"
This talk will explore the factors that limit how well
we can see, and will compare the visual acuity of humans with that of other
animals. Aberrations in the cornea and lens blur vision and prevent us
from seeing at the fundamental resolution limits set by the retina and
brain. They also limit the resolution of cameras to image the living retina,
cameras that are valuable for the diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease.
I will describe a method to correct the aberrations of the eye that is
better than the best pair of glasses. The method is based on adaptive optics,
which are also used in astronomy to compensate for the ever-changing aberrations
in the atmosphere. Our adaptive optics system at the University of Rochester
measures the aberrations of the eye in real time and compensates for them
with a deformable mirror, endowing the eye with unprecedented optical quality.
This instrument provides fresh insight into the ultimate limits on human
visual acuity, reveals for the first time images of the mosaic of three
cone classes responsible for color vision, and points the way to contact
lenses and laser surgical methods that could improve vision correction
beyond what is currently possible today.