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Simon Grant, Catherine Suttle, Dean R. Melmoth, Miriam L. Conway, John J. Sloper; Age- and Stereovision-Dependent Eye–Hand Coordination Deficits in Children With Amblyopia and Abnormal Binocularity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(9):5687-5701. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14745.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine factors contributing to eye–hand coordination deficits in children with amblyopia and impaired stereovision.
Participants were 55 anisometropic or strabismic children aged 5.0 to 9.25 years with different degrees of amblyopia and abnormal binocularity, along with 28 age-matched visually-normal controls. Pilot data were obtained from four additional patients studied longitudinally at different treatment stages. Movements of the preferred hand were recorded using a 3D motion-capture system while subjects reached-to-precision grasp objects (two sizes, three locations) under binocular, dominant eye, and amblyopic/nonsighting eye conditions. Kinematic and “error” performance measures were quantified and compared by viewing condition and subject group using ANOVA, stepwise regression, and correlation analyses.
Movements of the younger amblyopes (age 5–6 years; n = 30) were much slower, particularly in the final approach to the objects, and contained more spatial errors in reaching (∼×1.25–1.75) and grasping (∼×1.75–2.25) under all three views (P < 0.05) than their age-matched controls (n = 13). Amblyopia severity was the main contributor to their slower movements with absent stereovision a secondary factor and the unique determinant of their increased error-rates. Older amblyopes (age 7–9 years; n = 25) spent longer contacting the objects before lifting them (P = 0.015) compared with their matched controls (n = 15), with absence of stereovision still solely related to increases in reach and grasp errors, although these occurred less frequently than in younger patients. Pilot prospective data supported these findings by showing positive treatment-related associations between improved stereovision and reach-to-grasp performance.
Strategies that children with amblyopia and abnormal binocularity use for reach-to-precision grasping change with age, from emphasis on visual feedback during the “in-flight” approach at ages 5 to 6 years to more reliance on tactile/kinesthetic feedback from object contact at ages 7 to 9 years. However, recovery of binocularity confers increasing benefits for eye–hand coordination speed and accuracy with age, and is a better predictor of these fundamental performance measures than the degree of visual acuity loss.
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