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Kwang M. Cham, Andrew J. Anderson, Larry A. Abel; Task-Induced Stress and Motivation Decrease Foveation-Period Durations in Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(7):2977-2984. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1626.
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purpose. To investigate the effect of visual demand, task-related physiological stress, and motivation on the nystagmus waveform of 19 subjects with infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS).
methods. Subjects viewed a Landolt C of varying orientation and size, and indicated its orientation via arrow keys on a keyboard. Mental arithmetic was performed in conjunction with the visual task. Subjects then underwent a reward-penalty paradigm. Eye movements and heart rates were recorded during all experiments.
results. Task-related physiological stress and motivation were reflected in an increase in heart rate and led to an increase in the amplitude, frequency, and intensity of the nystagmus waveform and a decrease in foveation-period durations. Changes in heart rate did not correlate with changes in waveform parameters for all experiments.
conclusions. The results show, for the first time, the negative impact of task-induced stress and/or motivation on the characteristics of INS. This finding has important implications for individuals with INS, because stress may arise in everyday situations, such as driving or when undertaking an examination.
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