Adaptive optics in visual science is of enormous research and clinical interest. The combination of adaptive optics with scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AO- SLO) provides high resolution real-time images of the human retina, enabling an in vivo visualization of retinal cells such as photoreceptors and blood cells. Thereby this new technology enables completely new opportunities for an im- proved diagnosis and therapy control. The underlying goal of this thesis is the characterization and optimization of a confocal AO-SLO which at the start of the thesis could not provide images with sufficient quality. AO-SLO systems occupy in general a large space and provide only images with a very small field of view. One key characteristic of the used AO-SLO system is a compact foot-print and an implemented line scanning SLO channel that provides overview images of the retina. A number of modifications and new features were implemented within this thesis that included not only the experimental setup but also software devel- opment in order to improve adaptive optics control. In addition software for off-line processing of the AO-SLO images was developed and implemented. After implementation of these modifications the AO-SLO system was used to image healthy volunteers. Images of the cone and rod mosaic as well as of retinal vasculature are presented. Finally, the feasibility of using a multimode fiber for light collection to enhance image contrast was tested.