Copenhagen 2016 Registration Programme Exhibitor Information Virtual Exhibition Satellite Meetings Glaucoma Day 2016 Hotel Star Alliance

10 - 14 Sept. 2016, Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

This Meeting has been awarded 27 CME credits


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'Mystery is in the eye of the beholder': on the history of the 'Haidinger´s Brushes'

Poster Details

First Author: S. Scholtz GERMANY

Co Author(s):    B. Lingelbach   F. Krogmann   G. Auffarth              

Abstract Details


The entoptic phenomenon of “Haidinger´s Brushes” was first described by Wilhelm von Haidinger in 1844. The ability of the human eye to see polarized light has not been known so far. This poster will give a brief survey of “Haidinger´s Brushes” and its discoverer.


IVCRC, University Heidelberg, Germany University of Applied Sciences, HTW Aalen, Germany


Selective literature search in books and journal articles via PubMed, Google Scholar and Google as well as close cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Aalen (Germany).


The phenomenon of “Haidinger´s Brushes” still is not completely understood. So far it is regarded as a result of the combination of the radial orientation of the nerve fibers coming from the Fovea centralis and the pigments (Xanthophyll) found in the Macula. Both together seem to act as a radial symmetric polarization filter.


In 1844 Wilhelm von Haidinger showed that polarized light could be seen directly by the human eye when assessing the entoptic picture of “Haidinger´s Brushes”. Today this phenomenon is used in ophthalmology as a test for fixation and as pleoptic training of foveolar perception.

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