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Dennis M. Levi, David Whitaker, Allison Provost; Amblyopia masks the scale invariance of normal central vision. Journal of Vision 2009;9(1):22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.1.22.
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In normal vision, detecting a kink (a change in orientation) in a line is scale invariant: it depends solely on the length/width ratio of the line (D. Whitaker, D. M. Levi, & G. J. Kennedy, 2008). Here we measure detection of a change in the orientation of lines of different length and blur and show that strabismic amblyopia is qualitatively different from normal foveal vision, in that: 1) stimulus blur has little effect on performance in the amblyopic eye, and 2) integration of orientation information follows a different rule. In normal foveal vision, performance improves in proportion to the square root of the ratio of line length to blur (L:B). In strabismic amblyopia improvement is proportional to line length. Our results are consistent with a substantial degree of internal neural blur in first-order cortical filters. This internal blur results in a loss of scale invariance in the amblyopic visual system. Peripheral vision also shows much less effect of stimulus blur and a failure of scale invariance, similar to the central vision of strabismic amblyopes. Our results suggest that both peripheral vision and strabismic amblyopia share a common bottleneck in having a truncated range of spatial mechanisms—a range that becomes more restricted with increasing eccentricity and depth of amblyopia.
Note: aThe acuities listed in this table were determined using a LogMAR letter chart, and we specify both the full line letter acuity and the single letter acuity.
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