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Kabilan Pitchaimuthu, Bao N. Nguyen, Allison M. McKendrick; Aging alters intraocular but not interocular foveal center surround contrast suppression. Journal of Vision 2017;17(1):16. doi: 10.1167/17.1.16.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Numerous previous studies have shown that healthy aging results in increased foveal center surround contrast suppression when the center and surround patterns are presented to both eyes. The mechanistic cause of this observation is not well established. Neurophysiological and psychophysical studies have shown that different mechanisms of parafoveal center surround suppression can be tapped by manipulating viewing conditions to present the center and surround to the same eye (intraocular viewing) or to different eyes (interocular viewing), or by manipulating stimulus parameters such as duration. Here, we tested intraocular and interocular foveal center surround contrast suppression for stimuli of 40 ms and 200 ms duration in 18 younger and 18 older adults. For both groups, foveal intraocular center surround contrast suppression decreased with longer stimulus duration whereas interocular surround suppression did not, confirming contributions from separate mechanisms to these forms of suppression. Intraocular center surround contrast suppression was increased in older adults compared to younger adults; however, interocular suppression was similar in both groups. Our results indicate that aging differentially affects distinct forms of suppression arising at various levels of the visual pathway.
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