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Ewa Niechwiej-Szwedo, Herbert C. Goltz, Manokaraananthan Chandrakumar, Zahra Hirji, J. Douglas Crawford, Agnes M. F. Wong; Effects of Anisometropic Amblyopia on Visuomotor Behavior, Part 2: Visually Guided Reaching. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(2):795-803. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6092.
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The effects of impaired spatiotemporal vision in amblyopia on visuomotor skills have rarely been explored in detail. The goal of this study was to examine the influences of amblyopia on visually guided reaching.
Fourteen patients with anisometropic amblyopia and 14 control subjects were recruited. Participants executed reach-to-touch movements toward targets presented randomly 5° or 10° to the left or right of central fixation in three viewing conditions: binocular, monocular amblyopic eye, and monocular fellow eye viewing (left and right monocular viewing for control subjects). Visual feedback of the target was removed on 50% of the trials at the initiation of reaching.
Reaching accuracy was comparable between patients and control subjects during all three viewing conditions. Patients' reaching responses were slightly less precise during amblyopic eye viewing, but their precision was normal during binocular or fellow eye viewing. Reaching reaction time was not affected by amblyopia. The duration of the acceleration phase was longer in patients than in control subjects under all viewing conditions, whereas the duration of the deceleration phase was unaffected. Peak acceleration and peak velocity were also reduced in patients.
Amblyopia affects both the programming and the execution of visually guided reaching. The increased duration of the acceleration phase, as well as the reduced peak acceleration and peak velocity, might reflect a strategy or adaptation of feedforward/feedback control of the visuomotor system to compensate for degraded spatiotemporal vision in amblyopia, allowing patients to optimize their reaching performance.
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