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Emily R. Bovier, Kevin J. O'Brien, Stephanie Ross, Lisa M. Renzi; Static and Dynamic Measures of Visual Performance in Athletes. Journal of Vision 2011;11(15):27. doi: 10.1167/11.15.27.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Introduction: Baseball performance requires the ability to perceive and react to temporally varying stimuli under lighting conditions that are known to be most detrimental to visual function. Macular pigment (MP, lutein and zeaxanthin in the retina) is known to improve performance under such conditions and may also improve neural efficiency. The purpose of this study was to assess static and dynamic visual performance in college baseball players in order to (a) define performance ability in athletes and non-athletes, and (b) improve athletes' performance with zeaxanthin supplementation. Methods: Static measures of visual function included glare disability, photostress recovery, and contrast enhancement. Dynamic measures included coincidence anticipation timing (CAT); fixed and variable position reaction time (FRT and VRT) and the temporal contrast sensitivity function. Results: Athletes performed equally to non-athletes on static visual function measures, but performed significantly better on dynamic measures (e.g., VRT, p < 0.05; CAT accuracy at higher velocities). Supplementation is ongoing, but preliminary data indicate increases in MP and improvements in both static and dynamic visual performance after 20 mg/d of zeaxanthin. Conclusions: Supplementation to increase MP density may be especially beneficial for baseball players, given the tasks performed and outdoor lighting conditions.
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