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Mark M. G. Walton, Adam Pallus, Michael Mustari; A Rhesus Monkey With a Naturally Occurring Impairment of Disparity Vergence. I. Behavioral Comparisons to Vergence in a Normal Animal. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(5):1657-1669. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-26438.
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Human children with disorders affecting vergence eye movements have difficulty during close work, such as reading. Patients with convergence insufficiency show a receded near point and an exophoria that is greater at near than at far. Neurologic abnormalities may underlie these symptoms, but it is difficult to test this idea directly because there is no animal model for this disorder. In the present case report, we describe behavioral testing in a rhesus monkey with a naturally occurring impairment of vergence eye movements (monkey CI).
Three monkeys were trained to perform a variety of oculomotor tasks that required saccades, vergence, and/or smooth tracking of a visual target moving in depth.
Two of the monkeys (N1 and N2) were able to perform these tasks correctly. The third, monkey CI, was able to correctly perform these tasks when the required vergence angle was ≤5° but had difficulty when the task required larger convergence. This animal showed a consistent exodeviation that worsened as the target drew closer. When a variable prism was used to test disparity vergence in monkey CI, the animal showed an unstable convergence response (maximum 6°) that increased with prism correction, up to 12 prism diopters. By comparison, monkey N1 was able to achieve stable, appropriate convergence up to 26 prism diopters. Monkey CI's performance on vergence tasks improved when a large-field random checkerboard pattern was used to provide additional depth cues.
Monkey CI appears to have a naturally occurring disorder of vergence eye movements.
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