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Cindy Narinesingh, Herbert C. Goltz, Agnes M. F. Wong; Temporal Binding Window of the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion in Amblyopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(3):1442-1448. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-21258.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental visual disorder caused by abnormal visual experience in childhood. In addition to known visual deficits, there is evidence for changes in audiovisual integration in amblyopia using explicit tasks. We examined audiovisual integration in amblyopia using an implicit task that is more relevant in a real-world context.
A total of 11 participants with amblyopia and 16 controls were tested binocularly and monocularly on the sound-induced flash illusion, in which flashes and beeps are presented concurrently and the perceived number of flashes is influenced by the number of beeps. The task used 1 to 2 rapid peripheral flashes presented with 0 to 2 beeps, at 5 stimulus onset asynchronies, that is, beep (−200 milliseconds, −100 milliseconds) or flash leading (100 milliseconds, 200 milliseconds) or simultaneous (0 milliseconds). Participants reported the number of perceived flashes. Susceptibility was indicated by a “2 flashes” response to “fission” (1 flash, 2 beeps) or “1 flash” to “fusion” (2 flashes, 1 beep).
For fission with the beep leading during binocular viewing, controls showed an expected decrease in illusion strength as stimulus onset asynchronies increased, whereas the illusion strength remained constant in participants with amblyopia, indicating a wider temporal binding window in amblyopia (P = 0.007). For fusion, participants with amblyopia showed reduced illusion strength during amblyopic eye viewing (P = 0.044) with the flash leading.
Amblyopia is associated with the widening of the temporal binding window, specifically for fission when viewing binocularly with the beep leading. This suggests a developmental adaptation to delayed amblyopic eye visual processing to optimize audiovisual integration.
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