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Dean R. Melmoth, Alison L. Finlay, Michael J. Morgan, Simon Grant; Grasping Deficits and Adaptations in Adults with Stereo Vision Losses. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(8):3711-3720. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-3229.
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purpose. To examine the effects of permanent versus brief reductions in binocular stereo vision on reaching and grasping (prehension) skills.
methods. The first experiment compared prehension proficiency in 20 normal and 20 adults with long-term stereo-deficiency (10 with coarse and 10 with undetectable disparity sensitivities) when using binocular vision or just the dominant or nondominant eye. The second experiment examined effects of temporarily mimicking similar stereoacuity losses in normal adults, by placing defocusing low- or high-plus lenses over one eye, compared with their control (neutral lens) binocular performance. Kinematic and error measures of prehension planning and execution were quantified from movements of the subjects’ preferred hand recorded while they reached, precision-grasped, and lifted cylindrical objects (two sizes, four locations) on 40 to 48 trials under each viewing condition.
results. Performance was faster and more accurate with normal compared with reduced binocular vision and least accomplished under monocular conditions. Movement durations were extended (up to ∼100 ms) whenever normal stereo vision was permanently (ANOVA P < 0.05) or briefly (ANOVA P < 0.001) reduced, with a doubling of error rates in executing the grasp (ANOVA P < 0.001). Binocular deficits in reaching occurred during its end phase (prolonged final approach, more velocity corrections, poorer coordination with object contact) and generally increased with the existing loss of disparity sensitivity. Binocular grasping was more uniformly impaired by stereoacuity loss and influenced by its duration. Adults with long-term stereo-deficiency showed increased variability in digit placement at initial object contact, and they adapted by prolonging (by ∼25%) the time spent subsequently applying their grasp (ANOVA P < 0.001). Brief stereoreductions caused systematic shifts in initial digit placement and two to three times more postcontact adjustments in grip position (ANOVA P < 0.01).
conclusions. High-grade binocular stereo vision is essential for skilled precision grasping. Reduced disparity sensitivity results in inaccurate grasp-point selection and greater reliance on nonvisual (somesthetic) information from object contact to control grip stability.
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