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Ming Mei, Susan J. Leat; Suprathreshold Contrast Matching in Maculopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(7):3419-3424. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0731.
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purpose. To compare suprathreshold contrast perception among three groups of participants with maculopathy (atrophic age-related macular degeneration [ARMD], exudative ARMD, and juvenile macular dystrophy [JMD]) and to compare suprathreshold contrast matching between controls and subjects with maculopathy.
methods. Three groups of subjects with macular disorders (13 atrophic ARMD, 14 exudative ARMD, and 8 JMD) and one group of control subjects (15 subjects 50 years and older) participated. Contrast sensitivity (CS) up to 8.53 cycles per degree (cpd) was measured with a temporal two-alternative forced-choice staircase procedure. Suprathreshold contrast matching was measured using a method of limits. A 0.58 cpd sine-wave grating was the standard; the subject was asked to match the contrast of gratings of different spatial frequencies.
results. Subjects with maculopathy showed marked deficits of contrast threshold. Suprathreshold contrast constancy was shown, though deficits were observed in absolute matches compared with control subjects. The slopes of matched contrast against standard contrast for the subjects with maculopathy were significantly different from those for the controls, and these differences were in the direction that implies compensation for differences in thresholds. There were no significant differences among the three groups of subjects with maculopathy.
conclusions. In this study, the authors observed a degree of contrast constancy in subjects with maculopathy, though there were still deficits compared with control subjects. This is discussed in terms of gain of the visual system adjusting to compensate for CS losses (though incompletely) or contrast overconstancy, present in normal peripheral vision, which helps to compensate for CS loss.
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