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Donald E. Mitchell, Jan Kennie, D. Samuel Schwarzkopf, Frank Sengpiel; Daily mixed visual experience that prevents amblyopia in cats does not always allow the development of
good binocular depth perception. Journal of Vision 2009;9(5):22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.5.22.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Kittens reared with mixed daily visual input that consists of episodes of normal (binocular) exposure followed by abnormal (monocular) exposure can develop normal visual acuity in both eyes if the length of the former exposure exceeds a critical amount. However, later studies of the tuning of cells in primary visual cortex of animals reared in this manner revealed that their responses to interocular differences in phase were not reliable suggesting that their binocular depth perception may not be normal. We examined this possibility in 3 kittens reared with mixed daily visual exposure (2 hrs binocular vision followed by 5 hrs monocular exposure) that allowed development of normal visual acuity in both eyes. Measurements made of the threshold differences in depth that could be perceived under monocular and binocular viewing revealed a 10-fold superiority of binocular over monocular depth thresholds in one animal while the depth thresholds of the other two animals were poor and there was no binocular superiority. Thus, there was evidence that only one animal possessed stereopsis while the other two were likely stereoblind. While 2 hrs of daily binocular vision protected against the development of amblyopia, the poor outcome with respect to stereopsis points to the need for additional measures to promote binocular vision.
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