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Eli Peli, Henry Apfelbaum, Eliot L. Berson, Robert B. Goldstein; The risk of pedestrian collisions with peripheral visual field loss. Journal of Vision 2016;16(15):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.15.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Patients with peripheral field loss complain of colliding with other pedestrians in open-space environments such as shopping malls. Field expansion devices (e.g., prisms) can create artificial peripheral islands of vision. We investigated the visual angle at which these islands can be most effective for avoiding pedestrian collisions, by modeling the collision risk density as a function of bearing angle of pedestrians relative to the patient. Pedestrians at all possible locations were assumed to be moving in all directions with equal probability within a reasonable range of walking speeds. The risk density was found to be highly anisotropic. It peaked at ≈45° eccentricity. Increasing pedestrian speed range shifted the risk to higher eccentricities. The risk density is independent of time to collision. The model results were compared to the binocular residual peripheral island locations of 42 patients with forms of retinitis pigmentosa. The natural residual island prevalence also peaked nasally at about 45° but temporally at about 75°. This asymmetry resulted in a complementary coverage of the binocular field of view. Natural residual binocular island eccentricities seem well matched to the collision-risk density function, optimizing detection of other walking pedestrians (nasally) and of faster hazards (temporally). Field expansion prism devices will be most effective if they can create artificial peripheral islands at about 45° eccentricities. The collision risk and residual island findings raise interesting questions about normal visual development.
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