Monocular Spatial Distortions Induced by Marked Accommodation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Oct 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4110, pp. 393-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4110.393


Contraction of the ciliary muscle during marked accommodation causes the leading edge of the retina to advance as much as 0.5 centimeter. Near the posterior pole of the eye, the upward and downward extensional strains on the retina should be reasonably balanced. In the horizontal meridian an asymmetry is introduced because of the nasal location of the optic nerve head. Observers were asked to bisect the space between two parallel lines while fixating a movable line lying near the midpoint of the two lines. The test was conducted with the target far from and near the subject, in the horizontal and vertical meridians, and was repeated with accommodation paralyzed by a cycloplegic agent. Marked accommodation induced significant spatial distortions in the horizontal meridian. The effect is largely retinal.