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Dylan Rose, Peter Bex; Transfer of Peripheral Fixation Training Across Retinal Eccentricities. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1339. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1339.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We demonstrated recently that feedback-based peripheral oculomotor training improved fixation stability equally along cardinal retinal axes and that learning transferred to untrained locations (Rose & Bex, VSS 2014). This suggests that meridional asymmetries in eccentric perceptual function may not analogously impact oculomotor control. These findings have positive implications for the trainability of Preferred Retinal Loci (PRLs) during visual rehabilitation. However, meridional effects are generally of less concern than those associated with retinal eccentricity. We therefore examined oculomotor training and transfer of learning across changes in retinal eccentricity at a fixed orientation relative to the fovea. Eight individuals with normal or corrected-to-normal vision completed two, half-hour blocks of eccentric viewing training, separated by a week. Their task was to guide an eccentrically-positioned, gaze-contingent ring over a stable fixation target. The ring's diameter decreased when the subject maintained the ring on-target and increased when it fell off-target. The eccentricity of the gaze-contingent ring was 6.4 or 11.2 degrees, and was changed betwen blocks in counterbalanced order across subjects. A two degree diameter gaze-contingent simulated central scotoma prevented foveation. Performance was measured in degrees of error between the ring's center and the target's center, and was analyzed through fitted hierarchical linear models. As in the previous study, there was a significant, positive main effect of training and no main or interaction effects of eccentricity or eccentricity order. This finding, in conjunction with our previous work, suggests the exciting possibility that PRLs may be trained and subsequently relocated to new retinal locations selected exclusively to maximize perceptual functioning, without simultaneously impairing oculomotor control.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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