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Astigmatic vision: more than one hundred years of misconceptions, fallacies and distractions

Poster Details

First Author: K.Gerstmeyer GERMANY

Co Author(s):    S. Scholtz   F. Krogmann   G. Auffarth              

Abstract Details


Kepler and Descartes did influence the interpretation of the human mode of perception in the 17th century by introducing the first theory of a retinal image. Even today, the misinterpretation of the visual effect of astigmatism can still be proven by its visual presentation.


Eye Clinic Johannes Wesling Klinikum Minden, Germany, University Eye Clinic Heidelberg,International Vision Correction Research Centre (IVCRC), University Heidelberg


Selective literature research of books and articles in journals via PubMed, Google Scholar and Google, additional analysis and summary of personal direct literature search.


'El Greco�Â�´s fallacy' was described in 1913 for the first time. It assumed a distorted retinal image due to astigmatism as a cause of the artist�Â�´s verticalizing painting style. The traditional logical rebuttal of this fallacy also remains connected to the theory of imagery by interpreting astigmatism as a constant error of perception, and thus conveys faulty concepts regarding astigmatic vision and its illustration, e.g. in patient information on toric intraocular lenses.


The processing of visual information is dynamic and is continuously taking into account real optical impressions of the environment as well as its adaption to perceptual phenomena. Astigmatism is an optical aberration characterised by a blur effect, therefore it varies in its extent under these conditions.

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