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The 2012 Charles Prentice Medal Lecture: Wavefront Measurement of Refractive State

Thibos, Larry N.*

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000014
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Modern efforts to define and measure the refractive state of aberrated eyes have led to new insights about the nature of refractive error, the quality of the retinal image, the interplay of the crystalline lens, and the eye’s pupil during accommodation. Our change in mind-set engendered by wavefront concepts has the power to alter our way of thinking about many clinical issues that are fundamentally optical in nature, such as dynamic changes in optical quality of eyes caused by tear film deterioration, outcome assessment of refractive therapies, and myopia progression. The aim of this lecture is to help make advances in these areas of optometric science broadly accessible to educators, clinicians, and patients by explaining in simple terms the underlying optical concepts of wavefront aberrometry.


School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

 A video of the 2012 Charles Prentice Medal Lecture given by Dr. Thibos is available at An annotated text version of the lecture for the hearing impaired is available at

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Larry N. Thibos School of Optometry Indiana University 800 E. Atwater Ave. Bloomington, Indiana e-mail:

© 2013 American Academy of Optometry