Amblyopia and strabismus
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Binocular interactions for grating patterns were investigated in humans with normal binocular vision and in humans with abnormal binocular visual experience due to strabismus and/or amblyopia via 1) comparison of monocular and binocular contrast thresholds; 2) interocular transfer of the threshold elevation aftereffect; and 3) dichoptic masking. Whereas the normal observers showed improved binocular over monocular contrast sensitivity (i.e., binocular summation) and substantial interocular transfer of the threshold elevation aftereffect, the abnormal observers showed an absence of binocular summation and no significant interocular transfer. The dichoptic masking experiments showed that a suprathreshold masking grating presented to one eye elevated the contrast threshold for gratings presented to the fellow eye, within a narrow range of spatial frequencies (about 1 octave wide at half height) and orientations, centered about the spatial frequency and orientation of the mask. The magnitude and bandwidth of this masking effect was similar in subjects with normal and abnormal binocular vision, occurring even when the masking grating was presented to the amblyopic eye. These effects depend upon the contrast of the masking grating. In individuals with normal binocular vision, a grating with subthreshold contrast presented to one eye reduces the contrast threshold for detection of gratings of similar spatial frequency and orientation presented to the fellow eye. No such subthreshold summation is evident in the amblyopic observers. We conclude that while strabismus and/or amblyopia disrupted the normal excitatory interactions between the two eyes, cortical inhibitory binocular connections were not disrupted.
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