Assessment of the oculomotor response in human factor environments

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The need to measure the response of the oculomotor system, such as ocular accommodation, accurately and in real-world environments is essential. New instruments have been developed over the past 50 years to measure eye focus including the extensively utilised and well validated Canon R-1, but in general these have had limitations such as a closed field-of-view, a poor temporal resolution and the need for extensive instrumentation bulk preventing naturalistic performance of environmental tasks. The use of photoretinoscopy and more specifically the PowerRefractor was examined in this regard due to its remote nature, binocular measurement of accommodation, eye movement and pupil size and its open field-of-view. The accuracy of the PowerRefractor to measure refractive error was on averaging similar, but more variable than subjective refraction and previously validated instrumentation. The PowerRefractor was found to be tolerant to eye movements away from the visual axis, but could not function with small pupil sizes in brighter illumination. The PowerRefractor underestimated the lead of accommodation and overestimated the slope of the accommodation stimulus response curve. The PowerRefractor and the SRW-5000 were used to measure the oculomotor responses in a variety of real-world environment: spectacles compared to single vision contract lenses; the use of multifocal contact lenses by pre-presbyopes (relevant to studies on myopia retardation); and ‘accommodating’ intraocular lenses. Due to the accuracy concerns with the PowerRefractor, a purpose-built photoretinoscope was designed to measure the oculomotor response to a monocular head-mounted display. In conclusion, this thesis has shown the ability of photoretinoscopy to quantify changes in the oculomotor system. However there are some major limitations to the PowerRefractor, such as the need for individual calibration for accurate measures of accommodation and vergence, and the relatively large pupil size necessary for measurement.
Date of AwardApr 2004
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJames Wolffsohn (Supervisor)


  • ocular accommodation
  • vergence
  • pupil size
  • photoretinoscopy

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