June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Dichoptic training adults with amblyopia using low- and high-attention demand tasks
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Chuan Hou
    Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California, United States
  • Xin Jie Lai
    Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Chuan Hou, None; Xin Lai, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant R01- EY025018 (CH)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 507. doi:
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      Chuan Hou, Xin Jie Lai; Dichoptic training adults with amblyopia using low- and high-attention demand tasks. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):507.

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

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Purpose : Previous studies using either dichoptic video games (Tetris) (Li et al., 2013) or monocular action video games (Bavelier et al., 2012) to train adults with amblyopia induce significant visual function improvement in the amblyopic eye. One of the important factors for the training success in these studies might include an attentional effect associated with video game play. In this study, we investigated the role of selective visual attention in amblyopic training by comparing the training results using programs with low- and with high-attention demand tasks.

Methods : Using a dichoptic presentation, one group of adults with amblyopia was trained on a ‘low-attention’ program, while another group was trained on a ‘high-attention’ program. The ‘low-attention’ program required reporting a simple horizontal and/or vertical rectangle that was presented to each eye, which needs little attentional effort. The ‘high-attention’ program consisted of quickly searching and counting vertical Gabors presented in the amblyopic eye while simultaneously being presented with distractors (horizontal Gabors) in the non-amblyopic eye. The searching and counting features require rapid shifts in attention and are therefore considered high-attention demand tasks (Egeth et al., 2008; Anobile et al., 2012). Both programs were about two visits per week and two hours per visit for two months. Visual acuity (VA) and stereoacuity were measured before and after training. The group, after completion of the ‘low-attention” training, was crossover to the ‘high-attention’ program for another two months of training.

Results : Our training results show that VA and stereoacuity improved for all amblyopes in both groups, suggesting effectiveness of both training programs. However, the ‘high-attention’ training group had a higher percentage of improvement in both VA and stereoacuity, compared to the ‘low-attention’ training group. VA and stereoacuity further improved after a crossover from completion of initial ‘low-attention’ training to ‘high-attention’ training.

Conclusions : The dichoptic approach of training incorporated with selective visual attention is an effective tool for training amblyopes.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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