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Anthony M. Norcia, Vanitha Sampath, Hou Chuan, Mark W. Pettet; Experience-expectant development of contour integration mechanisms in human visual cortex. Journal of Vision 2005;5(2):3. doi: 10.1167/5.2.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Extended contours are a common feature of natural images. Most previous studies have considered contour integration as a two-dimensional process of linking like-oriented elements along their common orientation axis. Yet contours exist in a three-dimensional world, and one might therefore ask about the relationship between contour integration and binocular vision. Using an event-related potential assay of contour integration, we demonstrate that patients with strabismic amblyopia show a relative insensitivity to Gabor-defined contours in their dominant eyes, all of which had normal acuity. These deficits were not seen in the dominant eyes of patients with anisometropic amblyopia without strabismus, but were present in the amblyopic eyes of patients with either strabismus or anisometropia. Deficits were also found in both eyes of strabismus patients who had normal visual acuity in each eye, but who had strongly reduced or absent stereopsis. These results suggest that the maturation of contour detection mechanisms depends at least in part on the presence of normal binocular interaction during a developmental critical period.
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