OBJECTIVE: Evaluations of vision prostheses and sensory substitution devices have frequently relied on repeated training and then testing with the same small set of items. These multiple forced-choice tasks produced above chance performance in blind users, but it is unclear if the observed performance represents restoration of vision that transfers to novel, untrained items. APPROACH: Here, we tested the generalizability of the forced-choice paradigm on discrimination of low-resolution word images. Extensive visual training was conducted with the same 10 words used in previous BrainPort tongue stimulation studies. The performance on these 10 words and an additional 50 words was measured before and after the training sessions. MAIN RESULTS: The results revealed minimal performance improvement with the untrained words, demonstrating instead pattern discrimination limited mostly to the trained words. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings highlight the need to reconsider current evaluation practices, in particular, the use of forced-choice paradigms with a few highly trained items. While appropriate for measuring the performance thresholds in acuity or contrast sensitivity of a functioning visual system, performance on such tasks cannot be taken to indicate restored spatial pattern vision.
PURPOSE: To determine whether people with central field loss (CFL) from macular degeneration have improved ability to recognize a particularly difficult spatial configuration embedded in noise, the peripherally-viewed 'ladder contour'. The visibility of these configuration has been linked to general contour integration ability and crowding limitations in peripheral vision. METHODS: We used a trial-based yes-no task. CFL patients and normally-sighted controls performed the task, looking for ladder contours embedded in a field of randomly oriented Gabor patches, at a range of stimulus presentation times (varying stimulus difficulty). Viewing eccentricity in CFL patients was set by their preferred retinal loci (PRLs) and matched artificially in the control group. The contours were presented so as to be tangent to the CFL region, given a patient's PRL location. RESULTS: CFL and normally-sighted groups performed similarly on the task. The only significant determinant of performance was the viewing eccentricity. CONCLUSIONS: CFL patients do not seem to develop any improved ability to recognize ladder contours with their parafoveal retina, which suggests that there is no underlying improvement in contour integration or reduction in crowding limitations in the region of the PRL despite extended daily use.
Detecting the gaze direction of others is critical for many social interactions. We explored factors that may make the perception of mutual gaze more difficult, including the degradation of the stimulus and simulated vision impairment. To what extent do these factors affect the complex assessment of mutual gaze? Using an interactive virtual head whose eye direction could be manipulated by the subject, we conducted two experiments to assess the effects of simulated vision impairments on mutual gaze. Healthy subjects had to demarcate the center and the edges of the cone of gaze-that is, the range of gaze directions that are accepted for mutual gaze. When vision was impaired by adding a semitransparent white contrast reduction mask to the display (Exp. 1), judgments became more variable and more influenced by the head direction (indicative of a compensation strategy). When refractive blur was added (Exp. 1), the gaze cone shrank from 12.9° (no blur) to 11.3° (3-diopter lens), which cannot be explained by a low-level process but might reflect a tightening of the criterion for mutual gaze as a response to the increased uncertainty. However, the overall effects of the impairments were relatively modest. Elderly subjects (Exp. 2) produced more variability but did not differ qualitatively from the younger subjects. In the face of artificial vision impairments, compensation mechanisms and criterion changes allow us to perform better in mutual gaze perception than would be predicted by a simple extrapolation from the losses in basic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.
SIGNIFICANCE: The first report on the use of peripheral prisms (p-prisms) for patients with left neglect and homonymous visual field defects (HVFDs). PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate if patients with left hemispatial neglect and HVFDs benefit from p-prisms to expand the visual field and improve obstacle detection. METHODS: Patients (24 with HVFDs, 10 of whom had left neglect) viewed an animated, virtual, shopping mall corridor and reported if they would have collided with a human obstacle that appeared at various offsets up to 13.5° from their simulated walking path. There were 40 obstacle presentations on each side, with and without p-prisms. No training with p-prisms was provided, and gaze was fixed at the center of expansion. RESULTS: Detection on the side of the HVFD improved significantly with p-prisms in both groups, from 26 to 92% in the left-neglect group and 43 to 98% in the non-neglect group (both P < .001). There was a tendency for greater improvement in the neglect patients with p-prisms. For collision judgments, both groups exhibited a large increase in perceived collisions on the side of the HVFD with the prisms (P < .001), with no difference between the groups (P = .93). Increased perceived collisions represent a wider perceived safety margin on the side of the HVFD. CONCLUSIONS: Within the controlled conditions of this simulated, collision judgment task, patients with left neglect responded well to initial application of p-prisms exhibiting improved detection and wider safety margins on the side of the HVFD that did not differ from non-neglect patients. Further study of p-prisms for neglect patients in free-gaze conditions after extended wear and in real-world mobility tasks is clearly warranted.
Visual impairments are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and negatively affect quality of life. We describe a 39-year-old woman with a severe TBI who was evaluated by the inpatient optometry and vision rehabilitation service with findings of complete right homonymous hemianopia and right cranial nerve III palsy with 30-degree right exotropia (eye turn out) and complete right ptosis (eyelid will not open). The 30-degree exotropia advantageously generated 30 degrees of right visual field expansion when the right ptosis was treated with a magnetic levator prosthesis, which restores eyelid opening. Once opened, the patient used visual field expansion derived from a right exotropia to overcome functional impairments caused by right hemianopia. Field expansion improved the patient's wheelchair mobility and reaching tasks during inpatient therapy. This is the first report of visual field expansion by strabismus facilitated by correction of ptosis. Strabismus should be considered for its potential field expansion benefits when homonymous visual deficits are present, before considering patching. A multidisciplinary vision rehabilitation team is well suited to make this determination.
PURPOSE: Although the impact of homonymous visual field defects (HFDs) on mobility has been investigated previously, the emphasis has been on obstacle detection. Relatively little is known about HFD patients' ability to judge collisions once an obstacle is detected. We investigated this using a walking simulator. METHODS: Patients with HFDs (n = 29) and subjects with normal vision (NV; n = 21) were seated in front of a large screen on which a visual simulation of walking was displayed. They made collision judgments for a human figure that appeared for 1 second at lateral offsets from the virtual walking path. A perceived-collision threshold was calculated for right and left sides. RESULTS: Symmetrical collision thresholds (same on left and right sides) were measured for participants with NV (n = 21), and right (n = 9) and left (n = 7) HFD without hemispatial neglect. Participants with left neglect (n = 10) showed significant asymmetry with thresholds smaller (compared to the NV group and other HFD groups) on the blind (P < 0.001) and larger on the seeing (P = 0.05) sides. Despite the asymmetry, the overall width of the zone of perceived collision risk was not different, suggesting a relatively uniform rightward deviation in judgments of the left neglect group. CONCLUSIONS: Left neglect was associated with rightward asymmetry in collision judgments, which may cause collisions on the left side even when an obstacle is detected. These behaviors may represent the spatial misperceptions in body midline described previously in patients with left neglect.
PURPOSE: Patching for double vision is a common palliative treatment for head-trauma patients with acquired strabismus when prisms are not feasible. METHODS: We review literature on spatial neglect and discuss possible effects of monocular occlusion on spatial attention. RESULTS: Patching the left eye has been shown to worsen spatial judgments in some brain-injured patients with left neglect by inhibiting the right superior colliculus further impairing contralateral leftward orienting (the Sprague Effect). CONCLUSIONS: Because more peripheral parts of the visual field increasingly project to the contralateral superior colliculus with the temporal crescent being entirely contralateral, avoiding patching of the temporal crescent was advised, and in most cases can be achieved by taping off the spectacle lens and avoiding an elastic eye patch.
Purpose: Drivers with homonymous hemianopia (HH) were previously found to have impaired detection of blind-side hazards, yet in many jurisdictions they may obtain a license. We evaluated whether oblique 57Δ peripheral prisms (p-prisms) and perceptual-motor training improved blind-side detection rates. Methods: Patients with HH (n = 11) wore p-prisms for 2 weeks and then received perceptual-motor training (six visits) detecting and touching stimuli in the prism-expanded vision. In a driving simulator, patients drove and pressed the horn upon detection of pedestrians who ran toward the roadway (26 from each side): (1) without p-prisms at baseline; (2) with p-prisms after 2 weeks acclimation but before training; (3) with p-prisms after training; and (4) 3 months later. Results: P-prisms improved blind-side detection from 42% to 56%, which further improved after training to 72% (all P < 0.001). Blind-side timely responses (adequate time to have stopped) improved from 31% without to 44% with p-prisms (P < 0.001) and further improved with training to 55% (P = 0.02). At the 3-month follow-up, improvements from training were maintained for detection (65%; P = 0.02) but not timely responses (P = 0.725). There was wide between-subject variability in baseline detection performance and response to p-prisms. There were no negative effects of p-prisms on vehicle control or seeing-side performance. Conclusions: P-prisms improved detection with no negative effects, and training may provide additional benefit. Translational Relevance: In jurisdictions where people with HH are legally driving, these data aid in clinical decision making by providing evidence that p-prisms improve performance without negative effects.
Watching 3D content using a stereoscopic display may cause various discomforting symptoms, including eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, and motion sickness. Numerous studies have reported motion-sickness-like symptoms during stereoscopic viewing, but no causal linkage between specific aspects of the presentation and the induced discomfort has been explicitly proposed. Here, we describe several causes, in which stereoscopic capture, display, and viewing differ from natural viewing resulting in static and, importantly, dynamic distortions that conflict with the expected stability and rigidity of the real world. This analysis provides a basis for suggested changes to display systems that may alleviate the symptoms, and suggestions for future studies to determine the relative contribution of the various effects to the unpleasant symptoms.
We describe the design and construction of a headlight glare simulator to be used with a driving simulator. The system combines a modified programmable off-the-shelf LED display board and a beamsplitter so that the LED lights, representing the headlights of oncoming cars, are superimposed over the driving simulator headlights image. Ideal spatial arrangement of optical components to avoid misalignments of the superimposed images is hard to achieve in practice and variations inevitably introduce some parallax. Furthermore, the driver's viewing position varies with driver's height and seating position preferences exacerbate such misalignment. We reduce the parallax errors using an intuitive calibration procedure (simple drag-and-drop alignment of nine LED positions with calibration dots on the screen). To simulate the dynamics of headlight brightness changes when two vehicles are approaching, LED intensity control algorithms based on both headlight and LED beam shapes were developed. The simulation errors were estimated and compared to real-world headlight brightness variability.
Importance: Some marketing materials for yellow-lens night-driving glasses claim that they increase nighttime road visibility and reduce oncoming headlight glare (HLG). However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Objective: To measure the association between yellow-lens glasses and the detection of pedestrians with and without an oncoming HLG, using a driving simulator equipped with a custom HLG simulator. Design, Setting, and Participants: A single-center cohort study was conducted between September 8, 2016, and October 25, 2017, at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. A total of 22 individuals participated in the study, divided into groups to determine response to a pedestrian wearing a navy blue shirt by younger individuals and, to control for participant's age and the interaction of the shirt color with the filter, response to a pedestrian wearing an orange shirt by a group of younger and older participants. Exposures: Participants drove scripted night-driving scenarios, 3 times with 3 commercially available yellow-lens glasses and once with clear-lens glasses, with the HLG simulator turned on and off. A total of 8 conditions were used for each participant. Main Outcomes and Measures: Pedestrian detection response time. Results: The 22 participants who completed the study included 12 younger (mean [SD] age, 28  years; 6 men) individuals who responded to a pedestrian wearing a dark navy blue shirt, as well as 6 younger (mean [SD] age, 27  years; 4 men) and 4 older (mean [SD], 70  years; all men) participants who responded to a pedestrian in an orange shirt. All participants had normal visual acuity (mean [SD], -0.05 [0.06] logMAR). No significant difference in response time with yellow lens was found in all experiment conditions; younger participants for dark navy blue shirt pedestrians (F1,33 = 0.59; P = .45), orange shirt pedestrians (F1,15 = 0.13; P = .72), and older participants for orange shirt pedestrians (F1,9 = 0.84; P = .38). Among all participants (n = 22), no significant main effect of yellow lenses was found (F1,63 = 0.64; P = .42). In all measuring conditions, the response times with the yellow lenses were not better than with the clear lenses. Significant main effects of HLG were found with dark navy blue shirt pedestrian condition for young participants (F1,33 = 7.34; P < .001) and with orange shirt pedestrian condition for older individuals (F1,9 = 75.32; P < .001), where the difference in response time between with and without HLG was larger for older (1.5 seconds) than younger (0.3 seconds) participants. Conclusions and Relevance: Using a driver simulator equipped with an HLG simulator, yellow-lens night-driving glasses did not appear to improve pedestrian detection at night or reduce the negative effects of HLG on pedestrian detection performance. These findings do not appear to support having eye care professionals advise patients to use yellow-lens night-driving glasses.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of digital devices, reading habits and the prevalence of eyestrain among urban Indian school children, aged 11-17 years. METHODS: The study included 576 adolescents attending urban schools who were surveyed regarding their electronic device usage. Additional information on the factors that may have an effect on ocular symptoms was collected. RESULTS: Twenty percent of students aged 11 in the study population use digital devices on a daily basis, in comparison with 50% of students aged 17. In addition to using these devices as homework aids, one third of study participants reported using digital devices for reading instead of conventional textbooks. The majority of students preferred sitting on a chair while reading (77%; 445 students), with only 21% (123 students) preferring to lie on the bed and 8 students alternating between chair and bed. There was a significant association between the students who preferred to lie down and those who experienced eyestrain, as reported by a little over one fourth of the student population (27%). Out of 576 students, 18% (103) experienced eyestrain at the end of the day after working on digital devices. CONCLUSIONS: The increased use of digital devices by adolescents brings a new challenge of digital eyestrain at an early age. Our study reports the patterns of electronic device usage by school children, evaluates factors associated with eyestrain and highlights the need for further investigation of these issues.
Although more than one type of visual opsin is present in the retina of most vertebrates, it was thought that each type of photoreceptor expresses only one opsin. However, evidence has accumulated that some photoreceptors contain more than one opsin, in many cases as a result of a developmental transition from the expression of one opsin to another. The salamander UV-sensitive (UV) cone is particularly notable because it contains three opsins (Makino and Dodd  J Gen Physiol 108:27-34). Two opsin types are expressed at levels more than 100 times lower than the level of the primary opsin. Here, immunohistochemical experiments identified the primary component as a UV cone opsin and the two minor components as the short wavelength-sensitive (S) and long wavelength-sensitive (L) cone opsins. Based on single-cell recordings of 156 photoreceptors, the presence of three components in UV cones of hatchlings and terrestrial adults ruled out a developmental transition. There was no evidence for multiple opsin types within rods or S cones, but immunohistochemistry and partial bleaching in conjunction with single-cell recording revealed that both single and double L cones contained low levels of short wavelength-sensitive pigments in addition to the main L visual pigment. These results raise the possibility that coexpression of multiple opsins in other vertebrates was overlooked because a minor component absorbing at short wavelengths was masked by the main visual pigment or because the expression level of a component absorbing at long wavelengths was exceedingly low.
The majority of visual recognition studies have focused on the neural responses to repeated presentations of static stimuli with abrupt and well-defined onset and offset times. In contrast, natural vision involves unique renderings of visual inputs that are continuously changing without explicitly defined temporal transitions. Here we considered commercial movies as a coarse proxy to natural vision. We recorded intracranial field potential signals from 1,284 electrodes implanted in 15 patients with epilepsy while the subjects passively viewed commercial movies. We could rapidly detect large changes in the visual inputs within approximately 100 ms of their occurrence, using exclusively field potential signals from ventral visual cortical areas including the inferior temporal gyrus and inferior occipital gyrus. Furthermore, we could decode the content of those visual changes even in a single movie presentation, generalizing across the wide range of transformations present in a movie. These results present a methodological framework for studying cognition during dynamic and natural vision.
BACKGROUND: Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience visual hallucinations, which may be related to decreased contrast sensitivity (ie, the ability to discern shades of grey). OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate if an online research platform can be used to survey patients with Parkinson's disease regarding visual hallucinations, and also be used to assess visual contrast perception. METHODS: From the online patient community, PatientsLikeMe, 964 members were invited via email to participate in this study. Participants completed a modified version of the University of Miami Parkinson's disease hallucinations questionnaire and an online vision test. RESULTS: The study was completed by 27.9% (269/964) of those who were invited: 56.9% of this group had PD (153/269) and 43.1% (116/269) were non-Parkinson's controls. Hallucinations were reported by 18.3% (28/153) of the Parkinson's group. Although 10 subjects (9%) in the control group reported experiencing hallucinations, only 2 of them actually described formed hallucinations. Participants with Parkinson's disease with a mean of 1.75 (SD 0.35) and the control group with a mean of 1.85 (SD 0.36) showed relatively good contrast perception as measured with the online letter test (P=.07). People who reported hallucinations showed contrast sensitivity levels that did not differ from levels shown by people without hallucinations (P=.96), although there was a trend towards lower contrast sensitivity in hallucinators. CONCLUSIONS: Although more Parkinson's responders reported visual hallucinations, a significant number of non-Parkinson's control group responders also reported visual hallucinations. The online survey method may have failed to distinguish between formed hallucinations, which are typical in Parkinson's disease, and non-formed hallucinations that have less diagnostic specificity. Multiple questions outlining the nature of the hallucinations are required. In a clinical interview, the specific nature of the hallucination would be further refined to rule out a vague description that does not indicate a true, formed visual hallucination. Contrary to previous literature, both groups showed relatively good contrast sensitivity, perhaps representing a ceiling effect or limitations of online testing conditions that are difficult to standardize. Steps can be taken in future trials to further standardize online visual function testing, to refine control group parameters and to take steps to rule out confounding variables such as comorbid disease that could be associated with hallucinations. Contacting subjects via an online health social network is a novel, cost-effective method of conducting vision research that allows large numbers of individuals to be contacted quickly, and refinement of questionnaires and visual function testing may allow more robust findings in future research.
SIGNIFICANCE: Acquired monocular vision (AMV) is a common visual field loss. Patients report mobility difficulties in walking due to collisions with objects or other pedestrians on the blind side. PURPOSE: The visual field of people with AMV extends more than 90° temporally on the side of the seeing eye but is restricted to approximately 55° nasally. We developed a novel field expansion device using a multiplexing prism (MxP) that superimposes the see-through and shifted views for true field expansion without apical scotoma. We present various designs of the device that enable customized fitting and improved cosmetics. METHODS: A partial MxP segment is attached (base-in) near the nose bridge. To avoid total internal reflection due to the high angle of incidence at nasal field end (55°), we fit the MxP with serrations facing the eye and tilt the prism base toward the nose. We calculated the width of the MxP (the apex location) needed to prevent apical scotoma and monocular diplopia. We also consider the effect of spectacle prescriptions on these settings. The results are verified perimetrically. RESULTS: We documented the effectivity of various prototype glasses designs with perimetric measurements. With the prototypes, all patients with AMV had field-of-view expansions up to 90° nasally without any loss of seeing field. CONCLUSIONS: The novel and properly mounted MxP in glasses has the potential for meaningful field-of-view expansion up to the size of normal binocular vision in cosmetically acceptable form.
SIGNIFICANCE: Full-field prisms that fill the entire spectacle eye wire have been considered as field expansion devices for homonymous hemianopia (HH) and acquired monocular vision (AMV). Although the full-field prism is used for addressing binocular dysfunction and for prism adaptation training after brain injury as treatment for spatial hemineglect, we show that the full-field prism for field expansion does not effectively expand the visual field in either HH or AMV. PURPOSE: Full-field prisms may shift a portion of the blind side to the residual seeing side. However, foveal fixation on an object of interest through a full-field prism requires head and/or eye rotation away from the blind side, thus negating the shift of the field toward the blind side. METHODS: We fit meniscus and flat full-field 7Δ and 12Δ yoked prisms and conducted Goldmann perimetry in HH and AMV. We compared the perimetry results with ray tracing calculations. RESULTS: The rated prism power was in effect at the primary position of gaze for all prisms, and the meniscus prisms maintained almost constant power at all eccentricities. To fixate on the perimetry target, the subjects needed to turn their head and/or eyes away from the blind side, which negated the field shift into the blind side. In HH, there was no difference in the perimetry results on the blind side with any of the prisms. In AMV, the lower nasal field of view was slightly shifted into the blind side with the flat prisms, but not with the meniscus prisms. CONCLUSIONS: Full-field prisms are not an effective field expansion device owing to the inevitable fixation shift. There is potential for a small field shift with the flat full-field prism in AMV, but such lenses cannot incorporate refractive correction. Furthermore, in considering the apical scotoma, the shift provides a mere field substitution at best.
Prism distortions and spurious reflections are not usually considered when prescribing prisms to compensate for visual field loss due to homonymous hemianopia. Distortions and reflections in the high power Fresnel prisms used in peripheral prism placement can be considerable, and the simplifying assumption that prism deflection power is independent of angle of incidence into the prisms results in substantial errors. We analyze the effects of high prism power and incidence angle on the field expansion, size of the apical scotomas, and image compression/expansion. We analyze and illustrate the effects of reflections within the Fresnel prisms, primarily due to reflections at the bases, and secondarily due to surface reflections. The strength and location of these effects differs materially depending on whether the serrated prismatic surface is placed toward or away from the eye, and this affects the contribution of the reflections to visual confusion, diplopia, false alarms, and loss of contrast. We conclude with suggestions for controlling and mitigating these effects in clinical practice.
Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 1 long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a 1-year telemedicine pilot performed at acute rehabilitation (AR) hospital 1 and then expanded to AR hospital 2 and LTAC hospital during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist measured the patients' vision with the iPad applications and forwarded results to the off-site Doctor of Optometry (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prism application supervision, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision examinations per month at AR hospital 1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR hospital 1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7±5 to 14.9±5 (=.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (=.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR hospital 2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC hospital tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neurorehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.