Computational simulation of Haidinger's brushes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Haidinger's brushes (HB) are entoptic phenomena resulting from differential absorption of linear polarized light by the human macula. Computational models have assisted in understanding the behavior of these subjective phenomena but have been limited in their application. This study presents a revised computational model that incorporates known determinants of the form and behavior of HB. The model generates both static and animated simulations of HB that can be quantified by their density, contrast, and radial/circumferential extent. Measured physiological parameters are used to demonstrate the dependency of HB on macular pigment (MP) density, MP distribution, and ocular retardation. Physiological variations in these parameters explain the reported variations in the perception of HB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-952
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A
Issue number6
Early online date18 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Optical Society of America. This paper was published in Journal of the Optical Society of America A and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Macula Lutea/radiation effects
  • Vision, Entoptic/physiology
  • Vision, Ocular/physiology
  • Visual Perception/physiology


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