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Bo Dong, Yi Jiang, Stephen Engel, Min Bao; Adaptation to patch-wise complementary video reduces perceptual ocular dominance. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):401. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.401.
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Recent studies have revealed residual perceptual ocular dominance plasticity in adult humans. Here we introduce a novel method to reduce interocular imbalance through long-term adaptation. Subjects viewed the world through an "altered reality" system comprised of a head mounted video camera that fed into an image-processing computer that in turn drove a head-mounted display. Video images in each eye were divided into a 9x16 grid of square cells. Half of the cells were rendered a uniform mean color, while in the rest of the cells the original content remained unaltered. The layout of uniform cells was randomized and updated every 30 sec on average. Importantly, layouts in the two eyes were complementary, such that uniform cells in one eye corresponded to intact image patches in the other. Viewing this complementary patchwork video, subjects were able to interact with the world while being required to make use of the visual inputs to both eyes cooperatively in order to see a complete image. Seven subjects adapted to the patchwork displays for 3 hours, and eye dominance was measured using binocular rivalry before and following adaptation. Interocular imbalance was reduced following adaptation, as indexed by the proportion of stable percepts in rivalry that corresponded to each eye. The dominance of the stronger eye fell from 62.7% in the pretest to 56.0% in the post-test (averaged across three tests given within one hour after adaptation) and remained reduced 24 hours (53.4%) and three days later (57.2%, all ps <0.05). Viewing the world without patchwork for 3 hours produced no reliable effects. Our results suggest that long-term adaptation to a visual world that forces binocular integration can produce long-lasting balancing of perceptual weights given to the inputs from the two eyes, providing a promising approach for treatment of disorders such as amblyopia.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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