June 2007
Volume 7, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2007
Homonymous hemianopia alters distribution of visual fixations in 3-dimensional virtual environments
Author Affiliations
  • Meghan Riley
    Department of Neuroscience, University of Rochester
  • Kristin Kelly
    Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester
  • Tim Martin
    Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester
  • Mary Hayhoe
    Brain & Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester
  • Krystel Huxlin
    Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester
Journal of Vision June 2007, Vol.7, 289. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/7.9.289
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      Meghan Riley, Kristin Kelly, Tim Martin, Mary Hayhoe, Krystel Huxlin; Homonymous hemianopia alters distribution of visual fixations in 3-dimensional virtual environments. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):289. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.9.289.

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

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Homonymous hemianopia, a consequence of unilateral damage in early visual cortex, is associated with abnormal gaze distributions. However, to date, hemianopic saccade and fixation patterns have been investigated with search tasks and static, two-dimensional displays. The goal of this study was to assess whether abnormal hemianopic gaze patterns also occur when visual tasks are performed under more naturalistic circumstances. We compared fixation patterns of four, long-standing hemianopes with those of four visually-intact controls when immersed in a virtual, three-dimensional environment. Eye position was recorded and categorized under both static and ambulatory conditions. For all conditions tested, hemianopes fixated significantly more frequently into the half of the virtual field of view corresponding to their blind hemifield. But while fixation distributions and dynamics were fairly similar between the two subject groups when subjects were stationary, hemianopic fixation distributions were significantly narrower than those of controls in the walking condition. Our results suggest that hemianopes' compensatory eye movements towards the impaired hemifield when examining static, two-dimensional images also occur in a naturalistic, three-dimensional environment. However, the abnormally narrow range of exploratory fixations observed under ambulatory conditions suggests a potentially maladaptive strategy that could explain many of the difficulties experienced by this patient population when immersed in dynamic, real-life environments.

Riley, M. Kelly, K. Martin, T. Hayhoe, M. Huxlin, K. (2007). Homonymous hemianopia alters distribution of visual fixations in 3-dimensional virtual environments [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 7(9):289, 289a, http://journalofvision.org/7/9/289/, doi:10.1167/7.9.289. [CrossRef]
 The authors wish to thank Terry Schaeffer and Dorothea Castillo for performing visual field tests on the hemianopic subjects, Keith Parkins for programming the virtual environment, and Brian Sullivan and Kelly Chajka for their help in data collection. This research was supported by grants from the RPB Foundation, the Pfeiffer Foundation, the Schmitt Foundation, and from NIH grant EY05729 (to MH). KRH is an RPB Robert E. McCormick Scholar.

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