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SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, October 17
7:30 pm

An Ancient Eye Test ? Using the Stars


Professor George Bohigian
Washington University School of Medicine,

        Vision testing in ancient times was as important as it is today. The predominant vision testing in some cultures was the recognition and identification of constellations and celestial bodies of the night sky. A common ancient naked eye test used the double star of the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major or the Big Bear. The second star from the end of the handle of the Big Dipper is an optical double star. The ability to perceive this separation of these two stars, Mizar and Alcor, was considered a test of good vision and was called the ''test'' or presently the Arab Eye Test. Dr. Bohigian will talk about the correlation of this ancient eye test to the 20/20 line in the current Snellen visual acuity test. He will discuss the astronomy, origin, history, and the practicality of this test and how it correlates with the present day Snellen visual acuity test.
       Dr. George Bohigian is a practicing ophthalmologist and a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine. Among his professional recognitions is the Golden Medallion of the Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, awarded for continuing service on behalf of the ophthalmology profession in Missouri.

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