Mesopic conditions optimise the detection of visual function loss in drivers with simulated media opacity

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Drivers have different visual demands across varying contrast and luminance conditions. However, vision assessments for driving are typically conducted under photopic conditions. This study investigated the sensitivity of photopic and mesopic conditions to detect contrast sensitivity (CS) loss in drivers with simulated media opacities. CS was measured in forty-seven healthy drivers aged 18-50 years (mean ± SD: 25.5 ± 6.5) under photopic and mesopic-adapted luminance levels with the Pelli-Robson chart and the Mesotest II (without glare). Media opacities were simulated using white-opacity containing Lee Fog filters (1-5) and CS measured in a randomised order. A significant (p < 0.001) reduction in photopic CS (logCS) was measured with the Pelli-Robson chart only when media opacity was simulated with Fog filter 5 (1.53 ± 0.15, 2.8 triplets reduction) compared to baseline (1.95 ± 0.03). Mean mesopic CS demonstrated a significant (all p < 0.001) reduction from baseline (1.67 ± 0.14) for Fog filters 3 (1.4 triplets, 1.45 ± 0.16), 4 (2.4 triplets, 1.31 ± 0.14) and 5 (4.3 triplets, 1.02 ± 0.15). For Mesotest II, only Fog filter 5 produced a significant reduction (0.10 ± 0.09; p < 0.001) in mean mesopic CS from baseline (0.30 ± 0.01). Mesopic CS is more vulnerable to different levels of simulated media opacity, hence should be considered clinically when assessing visual function in older drivers at risk of media opacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13165
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date1 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s).


  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • mesopic vision
  • Driving
  • Cataract
  • Mesopic Vision
  • Automobile Driving
  • Color Vision


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