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Anthony M. Norcia, Julia Hale, Mark W. Pettet, Suzanne P. McKee, Richard A. Harrad; Disparity Tuning of Binocular Facilitation and Suppression after Normal versus Abnormal Visual Development. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(3):1168-1175. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.08-2281.
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purpose. To study the pattern of facilitatory and suppressive binocular interactions in stereodeficient patients with strabismus and in healthy controls.
methods. Visual evoked potentials were recorded in response to a Vernier onset/offset pattern presented to one eye, either monocularly or paired dichoptically with a straight vertical square-wave grating, which, when fused with the target in the other eye, gave rise to a percept of a series of bands appearing in depth from an otherwise uniform plane or with a grating that contained offsets that produced a standing disparity and the appearance of a constantly segmented image, portions of which moved in depth.
results. Participants with normal stereopsis showed facilitative and suppressive binocular interactions that depended on which dichoptic target was presented. Patients with longstanding, constant strabismus lacked normal facilitative binocular interactions. The response to a normally facilitative stimulus was reduced below the monocular level when it was presented to the dominant eye of patients without anisometropia, consistent with classical strabismic suppression of the nondominant eye. The dominant eye of strabismic patients without anisometropia retained suppressive input from crossed but not uncrossed disparity stimuli presented to the nondominant eye.
conclusions. Abnormal disparity processing can be detected with the dichoptic VEP method we describe. Our results suggest that suppression in stereoblind, nonamblyopic observers is determined by a binocular mechanism responsive to disparity. In some cases, the sign of the disparity is important, and this suggests a mechanism that can explain diplopia in patients made exotropic after surgery for esotropia.
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