April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Attention attracting fixation targets
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Boris I Gramatikov
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Inst, Baltimore, MD
  • Kristina Irsch
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Inst, Baltimore, MD
  • David L Guyton
    Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Inst, Baltimore, MD
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 434. doi:
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      Boris I Gramatikov, Kristina Irsch, David L Guyton; Attention attracting fixation targets. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):434.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Many devices for eye diagnostics require the patient to fixate steadily on a small point in space for a certain period of time during which the eyes do not move and data from one or more substructures of one or both eyes are acquired and analyzed. A typical example would be ophthalmic diagnostic devices for obtaining information from the retina. Some devices already have an optical subsystem that introduces a fixation target in the visual field of the test subject. For this purpose, a constant or blinking light is coupled into the subject’s field of view. The blinking light can be a low power laser or an LED. For young pediatric, less cooperative patients, unfortunately, a monotonously blinking target is not sufficient to attract attention steadily. This makes it impossible to acquire data over time periods longer than a second.


This method uses a combination of sound and modulated low power laser light to attract attention and to serve as a fixation target (Fig. 1). A computer controls the scanning optics and the data acquisition, and simultaneously plays attractive and engaging sounds to the test subjects. The sound signal also modulates the target laser, which is introduced into the eye’s visual field by means of a beamsplitter. The eye fixates on the target laser over a longer period of time, during which the retina does not move and can be efficiently scanned. The speaker is positioned in a way that the subject perceives it as coinciding with the target. The target laser is “pulsating” synchronously with the sound. This strongly enhances the attention attraction ability and locks fixation on the target.


The method was tested mainly on children age 7-8, as a subsystem of a pediatric vision screener which employs retinal birefringence scanning for detecting strabismus and amblyopia. With appropriate choice of songs or sounds, it performed decisively better than a monotonously blinking target. Statistical results will be reported soon.


The method is particularly effective with young children, but can be used with older children or adults as well. A typical application would be as supplemental subsystems of ophthalmic diagnostic devices for obtaining information from the retina, such as scanning laser ophthalmoscopes, OCT, retinal tomographs, scanning laser polarimeters, retinal birefringence scanners, fundus cameras, and others. Other areas of application would be perimeters, behavioral or psychological, etc.

Keywords: 522 eye movements • 552 imaging methods (CT, FA, ICG, MRI, OCT, RTA, SLO, ultrasound) • 417 amblyopia  

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