April 2009
Volume 50, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2009
Defining the Critical Period for Smooth Pursuit Development in Infant Primates: Effects of Binocular Decorrelation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • K. T. Le
    Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • P. Foeller
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • D. Bradley
    Yerkes Regional Primate Research, Atlanta, Georgia
  • L. Tychsen
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • A. M. Wong
    Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  K.T. Le, None; P. Foeller, None; D. Bradley, None; L. Tychsen, None; A.M. Wong, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant EY10214 (L.T.), Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research from Research to Prevent Blindness (L.T.), Grant MOP 67104 (A.W.), CIHR New Investigator Award (A.W.)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2009, Vol.50, 1208. doi:
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      K. T. Le, P. Foeller, D. Bradley, L. Tychsen, A. M. Wong; Defining the Critical Period for Smooth Pursuit Development in Infant Primates: Effects of Binocular Decorrelation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1208.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: : Infantile esotropia is typically associated with nasotemporal asymmetry of smooth pursuit, manifested as a bias favoring nasalward target motion when viewing monocularly. Earlier studies by our group have found that an optical strabismus induced in non-human primates during an early critical period of development causes smooth pursuit asymmetry when image decorrelation occurs between the first 3-12 weeks of life (equivalent of age 3-12 months in humans). The purpose of this study was to further delineate the critical period of smooth pursuit development.

Methods: : Binocular image decorrelation was imposed on infant macaques by fitting them with prism goggles on day 1 of life. The goggles were removed after 3 (n=2), 6 (n=2), 9 (n=2) or 12 weeks (n=3), emulating surgical repair of strabismus in humans at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age, respectively. Two control monkeys wore plano lenses. Several months after goggle removal, horizontal smooth pursuit was recorded using binocular search coils and a nasal-bias index (NBI) was calculated.

Results: : Each animal in the 9- and 12-week groups developed nasotemporal asymmetry of smooth pursuit when viewing with either eye. The smooth pursuit in 3- and 6-week duration monkeys was symmetric and indistinguishable from the controls. NBI were negligible or slightly negative in the control, 3- and 6-week monkeys, but positive and substantially greater (9-14x) in the 9-and 12-week monkeys (ANOVA, p<0.05).

Conclusions: : We further delineate the critical period of smooth pursuit development; it appears to occur between 6 and 9 weeks postnatally in monkeys. Our findings suggest that surgical repair of infantile esotropia in humans would be most beneficial before the age 6 months.

Keywords: eye movements: saccades and pursuits • strabismus • esotropia and exotropia 
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