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Ewa Niechwiej-Szwedo, Herbert C. Goltz, Manokaraananthan Chandrakumar, Agnes M. F. Wong; Effects of Strabismic Amblyopia and Strabismus Without Amblyopia on Visuomotor Behavior: III. Temporal Eye–Hand Coordination During Reaching. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(12):7831-7838. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15507.
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To examine the effects of strabismic amblyopia and strabismus only, without amblyopia, on the temporal patterns of eye–hand coordination during both the planning and execution stages of visually-guided reaching.
Forty-six adults (16 with strabismic amblyopia, 14 with strabismus only, and 16 visually normal) executed reach-to-touch movements toward targets presented randomly 5° or 10° to the left or right of central fixation. Viewing conditions were binocular, monocular viewing with the amblyopic eye, and monocular viewing with the fellow eye (dominant and nondominant viewing for participants without amblyopia). Temporal coordination between eye and hand movements was examined during reach planning (interval between the initiation of saccade and reaching, i.e., saccade-to-reach planning interval) and reach execution (interval between the initiation of saccade and reach peak velocity [PV], i.e., saccade-to-reach PV interval). The frequency and dynamics of secondary reach-related saccades were also examined.
The temporal patterns of eye–hand coordination prior to reach initiation were comparable among participants with strabismic amblyopia, strabismus only, and visually normal adults. However, the reach acceleration phase of participants with strabismic amblyopia and those with strabismus only were longer following target fixation (saccade-to-reach PV interval) than that of visually normal participants (P < 0.05). This effect was evident under all viewing conditions. The saccade-to-reach planning interval and the saccade-to-reach PV interval were not significantly different among participants with amblyopia with different levels of acuity and stereo acuity loss. Participants with strabismic amblyopia and strabismus only initiated secondary reach-related saccades significantly more frequently than visually normal participants. The amplitude and peak velocity of these saccades were significantly greater during amblyopic eye viewing in participants with amblyopia who also had negative stereopsis.
Adults with strabismic amblyopia and strabismus only showed an altered pattern of temporal eye–hand coordination during the reach acceleration phase, which might affect their ability to modify reach trajectory using early online control. Secondary reach-related saccades may provide a compensatory mechanism with which to facilitate the late online control process in order to ensure relatively good reaching performance during binocular and fellow eye viewing.
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