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Ann L. Webber, Katrina L. Schmid, Alex S. Baldwin, Robert F. Hess; Suppression Rather Than Visual Acuity Loss Limits Stereoacuity in Amblyopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(6):50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.6.50.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the influence of interocular suppression and visual acuity loss on stereoacuity in observers with and without abnormal vision development from strabismus or amblyopia. To determine whether stereoacuity improves in amblyopic observers when suppression is neutralized.
Experiment 1: Visual acuity (VA), depth of suppression (contrast ratio [CR]), and stereoacuity (digital random-dot) were tested in adult amblyopic observers (n = 21; age 27 ± 11 years). Experiment 2: VA, stereoacuity, and CR were measured at baseline and through a series of monocular contrast attenuation and Bangerter filter conditions that degrade visual input in participants with normal binocular vision (n = 19; age 31 ± 13 years). Multiple regression models were used to determine relative contribution of VA and CR to stereoacuity in both groups. Experiment 3: stereoacuity was retested in a subsample of amblyopic observers (n = 7) after contrast reduction of the stimulus presented to dominant eye to neutralize suppression.
In amblyopic observers, stereoacuity significantly correlated with CR (P < 0.001), but not with interocular VA difference (P = 0.863). In participants with normal vision development, stereoacuity, VA, and CR declined with introduction of monocular Bangerter filter (P < 0.001), and stereoacuity reduced with monocular attenuation of stimulus contrast (P < 0.001). Reduction in stereoacuity correlated with both VA decrement and degraded CR. Stereoacuity significantly improved in amblyopic observers when the contrast to the dominant eye was adjusted based on the contrast ratio.
Suppression rather than visual acuity loss limits stereoacuity in observers with abnormal vision development. Stereopsis can be improved when interocular sensory dominance is neutralized.
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