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Karoline Spang, Manfred Fahle; Impaired Temporal, Not Just Spatial, Resolution in Amblyopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(11):5207-5212. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1604.
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In amblyopia, neuronal deficits deteriorate spatial vision including visual acuity, possibly because of a lack of use-dependent fine-tuning of afferents to the visual cortex during infancy; but temporal processing may deteriorate as well.
Temporal, rather than spatial, resolution was investigated in patients with amblyopia by means of a task based on time-defined figure–ground segregation. Patients had to indicate the quadrant of the visual field where a purely time-defined square appeared.
The results showed a clear decrease in temporal resolution of patients' amblyopic eyes compared with the dominant eyes in this task. The extent of this decrease in figure–ground segregation based on time of motion onset only loosely correlated with the decrease in spatial resolution and spanned a smaller range than did the spatial loss. Control experiments with artificially induced blur in normal observers confirmed that the decrease in temporal resolution was not simply due to the acuity loss.
Amblyopia not only decreases spatial resolution, but also temporal factors such as time-based figure–ground segregation, even at high stimulus contrasts. This finding suggests that the realm of neuronal processes that may be disturbed in amblyopia is larger than originally thought.
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