September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
An irreducible delay in manual and saccadic reaction time in amblyopia
Author Affiliations
  • Christina Gambacorta
    Vision Science Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA Department of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Suzanne McKee
    Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • Preeti Verghese
    Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • Dennis Levi
    Department of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, CA Vision Science Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 652. doi:10.1167/15.12.652
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      Christina Gambacorta, Suzanne McKee, Preeti Verghese, Dennis Levi; An irreducible delay in manual and saccadic reaction time in amblyopia. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):652. doi: 10.1167/15.12.652.

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

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Abstract

Despite normal motor control, saccadic latencies are delayed in the non-preferred eye of patients with amblyopia (≈25-100ms1,2). This delay extends to manual reaction time when responding to targets with the amblyopic eye (≈50-100ms1,3,4). Previous researchers have shown a positive correlation between the delay and the magnitude of visual acuity impairment in the amblyopic eye5. This delay may be due to a difference in effective stimulus strength of the targets, since reaction times to weak stimuli are prolonged, decreasing as stimulus strength increases, until reaching a plateau6. Here, we measure saccadic and manual reaction times of normal and amblyopic subjects to the abrupt appearance of a Gabor patch at 5 degrees to the left or right of fixation, while varying the contrast of the patch. Even after adjusting for differences in effective stimulus strength, we find significant delays in both saccadic and manual response times when viewing with the amblyopic eye. We speculate that this irreducible delay may be a consequence of impaired ability to rapidly direct spatial attention with the amblyopic eye. 1 Mackensen, G. (1958). Reaktionszeitmessungen bei Amblyopia. Graefes Arch Ophthalmol 159:636 – 642. 2 Ciuffreda, K.J., Kenyon R.V. Stark L. (1978). Increased saccadic latencies in amblyopic eyes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 17: 697-702. 3 Von Noorden, G.K. (1961). Reaction time in normal and amblyopic eyes. Arch Ophthalmol 66:695-699. 4 Levi, D.M., Harwerth, R.S., and Manny, R.E. (1979). Suprathreshold spatial frequency detection and binocular interaction in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 18:714-725. 5 Hamasaki, D.I. and Flynn, J.T. (1981). Amblyopic eyes have longer reaction times. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 21:846-853. 6 Pieron, H. (1952). The Sensations: Their Functions, Processes and Mechanisms. London: Frederick Muller Ltd.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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