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Michele Rucci, Jonathan D. Victor; Perspective: Can eye movements contribute to emmetropization?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(7):10. doi: 10.1167/18.7.10.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During development, the eye tunes its size to its optics so that distant objects are in focus, a state known as emmetropia. Although multiple factors contribute to this process, a strong influence appears to be exerted by the visual input signals entering the eye. Much research has been dedicated to the possible roles of specific features of the retinal image, such as the magnitude of blur. However, in humans and other species, the input to the retina is not an image, but a spatiotemporal flow of luminance. Small eye movements occur incessantly during natural fixation, continually transforming the spatial scene into temporal modulations on the retina. An emerging body of evidence suggests that this space–time reformatting is crucial to many aspects of visual processing, including sensitivity to fine spatial detail. The resulting temporal modulations depend not only on ocular dynamics, but also on the optics and shape of the eye, and the spatial statistics of the visual scene. Here we examine the characteristics of these signals and suggest that they may play a role in emmetropization. A direct consequence of this viewpoint is that abnormal oculomotor behavior may contribute to the development of myopia and hyperopia.
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