June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Perceptual grouping during binocular rivalry in mild glaucoma
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luminita Tarita-Nistor
    Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Galia Issashar Leibovitzh
    Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Yvonne Buys
    Ophthalmology and Vision Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Graham Trope
    Ophthalmology and Vision Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Luminita Tarita-Nistor, None; Galia Issashar Leibovitzh, None; Yvonne Buys, None; Graham Trope, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Glaucoma Research Society of Canada Grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 3526. doi:
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      Luminita Tarita-Nistor, Galia Issashar Leibovitzh, Yvonne Buys, Graham Trope; Perceptual grouping during binocular rivalry in mild glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):3526.

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

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Purpose : Studies on binocular rivalry point to a dysregulation in inter-hemispheric transfer in patients with mild glaucoma. During binocular rivalry, spatially separated stimuli with common features tend to group together; the grouping is mediated by lateral connections of the cortical hypercolumns. In this observational, case-control study we tested perceptual grouping during intra- and inter-hemispheric binocular rivalry to probe the strength of neural connectivity involved in early visual processing in patients with mild glaucoma.

Methods : Eight patients (4F/4M) with glaucoma with a visual field mean deviation better than -2dB and 9 (5F/4M) age-matched healthy controls participated. The 2 groups were equivalent in visual acuity and stereo-acuity. Rivalry stimuli were 1.8 deg-diameter discs, containing horizontal or vertical sine wave gratings (spatial frequency of 4 cpd), viewed dichoptically. In a control condition, the stimuli were presented centrally. To test grouping, 2 spatially separated adjacent rivalry stimuli were presented eccentrically to the same or different eyes and to the same or different hemifields. The outcome measures were time of exclusive dominance of the percept with synchronized orientations (i.e., both horizontal or both vertical) and rivalry rate.

Results : Mixed factorial ANOVAs showed that for both groups, synchronized dominance was longer when identical stimuli were presented to the same eye (i.e., both horizontal to one eye and both vertical to the other eye) than to different eyes irrespective of the hemifield (p < .001, partial η2 = 0.85). Rivalry rates were significantly lower in the glaucoma group than in the control group across all conditions (p < .001, partial η2 = 0.27). For the control group, rivalry rates for the central, same eye/same hemifield, and same eye/different hemifields conditions were identically high, but for the glaucoma group, the highest rivalry rate was observed for the same eye/same hemifield condition where no inter-hemishperic transfer was involved.

Conclusions : In addition to an inter-hemispheric transfer dysfunction, the results show impairment in perceptual grouping during rivalry in patients with mild glaucoma, suggesting that the strength of the lateral connectivity of the hypercolumns in the primary visual cortex is diminished. These deficits may have implications for higher levels of visual processing such as object recognition and scene segmentation.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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