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Ann M. Holleschau, John T. MacDonald, Herbert L. Pick, Jr., Katherine M. Hogue, Carole G. Summers; Vision and Spatial Awareness in Albinism. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5721.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the role of visual acuity (VA) in spatial awareness in albinism.
Consented subjects with albinism (ages 6-70; n=104) and age- and gender-matched controls with normal vision (n=57) had Snellen VA measured. Wearing a blindfold, they learned the location of 4 objects on a tabletop. After the objects were removed, the blindfolded subjects pointed to the original location of the objects from a central position, 35° right, and 35° left. Discrepancy of distance (cm) and angle (°) from the original target was measured.
In general, those with albinism performed similarly to controls. Neither age nor VA was correlated with accuracy of response. Median VA of the albinism group was 20/100. Dividing that group into those with VA 20/100 or poorer (n=37) and those better than 20/100 (n=20), those in the lower VA group differed significantly from their matched controls in distance off target from the central position only (p=0.0057). No significant differences were found when comparing distances and angles off target between the lower and higher VA groups. The majority of subjects were the furthest off target when performing from the 35° left position.
We chose to study albinism as VA varies from normal but cognition is normally distributed. We thought albinism subjects might outperform those with better vision due to their use of other senses but possibly their poorer vision makes it difficult to orient themselves in their environment. VA and age appear to have no effect on accuracy. The poorer sighted group differed significantly from controls in the central position.
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