July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Oculomotor changes after sustained Virtual Reality use
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Angelica Godinez
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Elise N Harb
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Jack Grimes
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Shaili Davuluru
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Christine Frances Wildsoet
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Dennis M Levi
    School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Angelica Godinez, None; Elise Harb, None; Jack Grimes, None; Shaili Davuluru, None; Christine Wildsoet, None; Dennis Levi, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI grant RO1EY020976
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 5924. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Angelica Godinez, Elise N Harb, Jack Grimes, Shaili Davuluru, Christine Frances Wildsoet, Dennis M Levi; Oculomotor changes after sustained Virtual Reality use. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5924.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : Recent commercialization of Virtual Reality head-mounted displays (VRHMD), poses a question about the ocular effects of decoupling vergence and accommodation. In the real world, a change in one system causes a change in the other. However, in a VRHMD, accommodation is fixed to the screen (~1-2 meters) while vergence varies to meet the display’s disparity demands. Possibly related, studies have shown an increase in overall discomfort and eye strain after VRHMD use. Our aim was to measure and compare oculomotor changes after VRHMD and more traditional computer (PC) “play”.

Methods : Healthy young adult students (n=20) aged 18-24 years participated in this study. At each of two visits, participants performed an identical gaming task on either a VRHMD or a PC for a sustained (40 min) period (order randomized). Immediately before and after each task, distance and near vergence ranges (prism bar), accommodative amplitude (pull away), and horizontal distance and near phoria (Modified Thorington) were measured in random order.

Results : Following VRHMD play, participants showed a significant increase relative to PC play in their convergence blur ranges at both near (Mean change: PC = -2.33Δ; VRHMD = +2.68Δ, p=0.014) and distance (Mean change: PC = -1.1Δ; VRHMD = +2.55Δ, p=0.022). Participants showed a similar but smaller increase in divergence blur ranges at far following VRHMD play (Mean change: PC = -0.3Δ; VRHMD = +1.35Δ, p=0.045). There was a small but not statistically significant increase in accommodative amplitude following both PC and VRHMD tasks (Mean change: PC = +0.34Δ; VRHMD = +0.31Δ, p=0.077). There was a borderline significant change in phoria at distance (Absolute change: PC M = 1.79Δ; VRHMD M = 0.75Δ, p=0.058), but no significant change in phoria at near (Absolute change: PC M= 2.66Δ; VRHMD M = 02.85Δ, p=0.79) between VRHMD and PC play.

Conclusions : In this small-scale study, we observed increases in the blur convergence ranges (BO) following sustained virtual reality play as compared to traditional computer play. We speculate that these changes may be due to changes in the tonic accommodative system during sustained VRHMD play, however further more sensitive measures of accommodative function following VRHMD play is required.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.

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