July 1991
Volume 32, Issue 8
Free
Articles  |   July 1991
Functional effects of bilateral form deprivation in monkeys.
Author Affiliations
  • R S Harwerth
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052.
  • E L Smith, 3rd
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052.
  • A D Paul
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052.
  • M L Crawford
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052.
  • G K von Noorden
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 1991, Vol.32, 2311-2327. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      R S Harwerth, E L Smith, A D Paul, M L Crawford, G K von Noorden; Functional effects of bilateral form deprivation in monkeys.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(8):2311-2327.

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Abstract

Psychophysical methods were used to study the effects of binocular form deprivation, initiated at 1 month of age, on the visual sensitivities of young monkeys. All the monkeys reared with bilateral form deprivation for 7 weeks or longer had reduced spatial contrast sensitivity for both eyes. Although the contrast sensitivity deficits of the bilaterally form-deprived monkeys generally were larger for one eye than the other, the magnitudes of the deficits were small compared with those produced by similar periods of unilateral form deprivation. For other monocular vision functions investigated, temporal contrast sensitivity and increment-threshold spectral sensitivity, the data for the bilaterally form-deprived animals showed only minor variations from those of the control monkeys. However, none of the bilaterally form-deprived monkeys had binocular vision on either measures of binocular summation or stereodetection, even if the animal had normal monocular vision functions. Therefore, these results show that monocular sensory deficits caused by abnormal early visual experience as a result of bilateral form deprivation are much less severe than those caused by unilateral form deprivation. The differences in the severity of visual deficits may be attributed to the consequences of anomalous binocular competition associated with unilateral form deprivation that was minimized during bilateral form deprivation. Thus, these results illustrate that anomalous binocular competition is more detrimental to the developing visual system of infants than direct deprivation per se.

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