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Seung Hyun Min, Ling Gong, Alex S. Baldwin, Alexandre Reynaud, Zhifen He, Jiawei Zhou, Robert F. Hess; Some psychophysical tasks measure ocular dominance plasticity more reliably than others. Journal of Vision 2021;21(8):20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.8.20.
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In the recent decade, studies have shown that short-term monocular deprivation strengthens the deprived eye's contribution to binocular vision. However, the magnitude of the change in eye dominance after monocular deprivation (i.e., the patching effect) has been found to be different between different methods and within the same method. There are three possible explanations for the discrepancy. First, the mechanisms underlying the patching effect that are probed by different measurement tasks might exist at different neural sites. Second, the test–retest variability of the same test can produce inconsistent results. Third, the magnitude of the patching effect itself within the same observer can vary across separate days or experimental sessions. To explore these possibilities, we assessed the test–retest reliability of the three most commonly used tasks (binocular rivalry, binocular combination, and dichoptic masking) and the repeatability of the shift in eye dominance after short-term monocular deprivation for each of the task. Two variations for binocular phase combination were used, at one and many contrasts of the stimuli. Also, two variations for dichoptic masking were employed; the orientation of the mask grating was either horizontal or vertical. Thus, five different tasks were evaluated. We hoped to resolve some of the inconsistencies reported in the literature concerning this form of visual plasticity. In this study, we also aimed to recommend a measurement method that would allow us to better understand its physiological basis and the underpinning of visual disorders.
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