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Ronald S. Harwerth, Patricia M. Fredenburg; Binocular Vision with Primary Microstrabismus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(10):4293-4306. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0346.
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purpose. Patients with primary microstrabismus have a high degree of binocularity, which suggests that their ocular misalignment may have a sensory rather than an oculomotor origin, as in large-angle strabismus. The purpose of these experiments was to determine whether microstrabismic subjects have sensory abnormalities that could give rise to a small angle of strabismus.
methods. The binocular disparity response functions for sensory and motor processes were compared in seven orthotropic subjects and six strabismic subjects (four with primary microstrabismus and two with infantile esotropia). Binocularity was assessed by disparity vergence (central and peripheral stimuli) and depth discrimination (relative and absolute disparities) measures. Motor and sensory disparity response functions were both determined by psychophysical methods: vergence responses by dichoptic nonius alignment and sensory responses by forced-choice depth discrimination.
results. All the strabismic subjects demonstrated normal retinal correspondence with peripheral binocular stimuli and anomalous retinal correspondence with central fusion stimuli. The microstrabismic subjects’ disparity vergence responses with peripheral fusion stimuli were centered on disparities relative to their angle of strabismus. However, with central fusion stimuli, the disparity vergence responses were relative to the subjective angle of strabismus. The microstrabismic subjects’ stereoacuities were substantially reduced, but their discrimination responses did not show an asymmetry indicative of an unrepresented population of disparity-selective mechanisms.
conclusions. The data do not support a sensory abnormality as the primary cause of microstrabismus. The results are not compatible with an oculomotor adaptation to an inherent anomalous correspondence or with a strabismus caused by an absence of a class of disparity-selective mechanisms. Thus, just as in large-angle strabismus, the anomalous retinal correspondence and defective stereopsis of microstrabismus appear to be consequences of abnormal visual experience caused by an interocular deviation.
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