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A 1910 photograph of Willibald A. Nagel (1870–1911), a German physiologist who announced his invention of the anomaloscope in 1898 (though it was then given a different name)

From German Anomaloskop, from Ancient Greek ἀνώμαλος (anṓmalos, irregular, uneven) (from Ancient Greek ᾰ̓- (a-, a-, prefix meaning ‘not) + ὁμᾰλός (homalós, even, level)) + σκοπέω (skopéō, to look, to look at; to examine, to inspect) (from Proto-Indo-European *sḱop, ultimately from *speḱ- (to see; to look, to observe)).



anomaloscope (plural anomaloscopes)

  1. (ophthalmology) An instrument used to test for color blindness by measuring quantitative and qualitative anomalies in color perception.
    • 1981, Committee on Vision, National Research Council, “Color Vision Tests”, in Procedures for Testing Color Vision: Report of Working Group 41, Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, OCLC 11734234, page 38:
      The anomaloscope contains a red-green scale from which may be read a number that is proportional to the amount of red in the mixture field, and a Y scale from which is read a number proportional to the luminance of the test color. In testing an observer, the examiner notes the scale values, which then are available for further transformation as noted for the Nagel anomaloscope.
    • 1982, A. Pinckers, “Minimal Requirements for Color Vision Examination”, in G[uy] Verriest, editor, Colour Vision Deficiencies VI: Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium of the International Research Group on Colour Vision Deficiencies Held at the Klinikum der Freien Universität, (West) Berlin-Steglitz, 17–19 September 1981 (Documenta Ophthalmologia, Proceedings Series; 33), The Hague: Dr W. Junk Publishers, →ISBN, abstract, page 169:
      For the differentiation between color vision defects of retinal origin and color defects as a result of optic nerve disease the determination of the neutral zone and anomaloscope examination are important.
    • 2014, Harinder Singh Sethi, “Color Vision and Color Blindness”, in H. V. Nema and Nitin Nema, editors, Diagnostic Procedures in Ophthalmology, 3rd edition, New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers, →ISBN, page 22:
      Anomaloscopes are instruments that assess the ability to make metametric matches. The results are used for definitive diagnosis and quantitative assessment of color vision status. Anomoloscopes are much more difficult to administer than pseudoisochromatic plates and arrangement tests. The first anomaloscope was designed by Nagel and is based on the color match known as the Rayleigh equation, that is, R + G = Y.

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