The effect of macular pigment optical density on resolution acuity and hyperacuity in young subjects
Engles, Michael Patrick
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Schültze (1866) proposed that macular pigment (MP) serves to improve acuity by reducing the deleterious effects of chromatic aberration. Although proposed well over a century ago, the hypothesis has never been tested. We chose to begin evaluating the Acuity Hypothesis by measuring MP levels and acuity and hyperacuity in the same observers. In the two experiments, the Acuity Hypothesis was not supported as tested by our stimulus configuration. Acuity could be related to MP density via a protective mechanism but older subjects showing loss would need to be tested to address this possibility. A novel finding, however, as shown by the difference in thresholds in the hyperacuity task, indicates that hyperacuity processing may be facilitated by chromatic content.