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Gang Luo, Eli Peli; Use of an Augmented-Vision Device for Visual Search by Patients with Tunnel Vision. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(9):4152-4159. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1672.
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purpose. To study the effect of an augmented-vision device that superimposes minified contour images over natural vision on visual search performance of patients with tunnel vision.
methods. Twelve subjects with tunnel vision searched for targets presented outside their visual fields (VFs) on a blank background under three cue conditions (with contour cues provided by the device, with auditory cues, and without cues). Three subjects (VF, 8°–11° wide) carried out the search over a 90° × 74° area, and nine subjects (VF, 7°–16° wide) carried out the search over a 66° × 52° area. Eye and head movements were recorded for performance analyses that included directness of search path, search time, and gaze speed.
results. Directness of the search path was greatly and significantly improved when the contour or auditory cues were provided in the larger and the smaller area searches. When using the device, a significant reduction in search time (28%∼74%) was demonstrated by all three subjects in the larger area search and by subjects with VFs wider than 10° in the smaller area search (average, 22%). Directness and gaze speed accounted for 90% of the variability of search time.
conclusions. Although performance improvement with the device for the larger search area was obvious, whether it was helpful for the smaller search area depended on VF and gaze speed. Because improvement in directness was demonstrated, increased gaze speed, which could result from further training and adaptation to the device, might enable patients with small VFs to benefit from the device for visual search tasks.
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