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Francesca C. Fortenbaugh, John C. Hicks, Kathleen A. Turano; The Effect of Peripheral Visual Field Loss on Representations of Space: Evidence for Distortion and Adaptation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(6):2765-2772. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1021.
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purpose. To determine whether peripheral field loss (PFL) systematically distorts spatial representations and to determine whether persons with actual PFL show adaptation effects.
methods. Nine participants with PFL from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) learned the locations of statues in a virtual environment by walking a predetermined route. After this, the statues were removed and the participants were to walk to where they thought each statue had been located. Placement errors, defined as the differences between the actual and estimated locations, were calculated and decomposed into distance errors and angular offsets.
results. Participants showed distortions in remembered statue locations, with mean placement errors increasing with decreasing field of view (FOV) size. A correlation was found between FOV size and mean distance error but not mean angular offsets. Compared with eye movements of normal-vision participants with simulated PFL from a previous study, the eye movements of the RP participants were shorter in duration, and smaller saccadic amplitudes were observed only for the RP participants with the smallest FOV sizes. The RP participants also made more fixations to the statues than the simulated PFL participants. Results from a real-world replication of the task showed no behavioral differences between simulated and naturally occurring PFL.
conclusions. PFL is associated with distortions in spatial representations that increase with decreasing FOV. The differences in eye movement and gaze patterns suggest possible adaptive changes on the part of the RP participants. However, the use of different sampling strategies did not aid the performance of the RP participants as FOV size decreased.
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