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.
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: To identify the factors responsible for the poor validity of the most common aniseikonia tests, which involve size comparisons of red-green stimuli presented haploscopically. METHODS: Aniseikonia was induced by afocal size lenses placed before one eye. Observers compared the sizes of semicircles presented haploscopically via color filters. The main factor under study was viewing mode (free viewing versus short presentations under central fixation). To eliminate response bias, a three-response format allowed observers to respond if the left, the right, or neither semicircle appeared larger than the other. To control decisional (criterion) bias, measurements were taken with the lens-magnified stimulus placed on the left and on the right. To control for size-color illusions, measurements were made with color filters in both arrangements before the eyes and under binocular vision (without color filters). RESULTS: Free viewing resulted in a systematic underestimation of lens-induced aniseikonia that was absent with short presentations. Significant size-color illusions and decisional biases were found that would be mistaken for aniseikonia unless appropriate action is taken. CONCLUSIONS: To improve their validity, aniseikonia tests should use short presentations and include control conditions to prevent contamination from decisional/response biases. If anaglyphs are used, presence of size-color illusions must be checked for. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: We identified optimal conditions for administration of aniseikonia tests and appropriate action for differential diagnosis of aniseikonia in the presence of response biases or size-color illusions. Our study has clinical implications for aniseikonia management.
IMPORTANCE: To facilitate comparative clinical outcome research in low vision rehabilitation, we must use patient-centered measurements that reflect clinically meaningful changes in visual ability. OBJECTIVE: To quantify the effects of currently provided low vision rehabilitation (LVR) on patients who present for outpatient LVR services in the United States. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective, observational study of new patients seeking outpatient LVR services. From April 2008 through May 2011, 779 patients from 28 clinical centers in the United States were enrolled in the Low Vision Rehabilitation Outcomes Study. The Activity Inventory, a visual function questionnaire, was administered to measure overall visual ability and visual ability in 4 functional domains (reading, mobility, visual motor function, and visual information processing) at baseline and 6 to 9 months after usual LVR care. The Geriatric Depression Scale, Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, and Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey physical functioning questionnaires were also administered to measure patients' psychological, cognitive, and physical health states, respectively, and clinical findings of patients were provided by study centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mean changes in the study population and minimum clinically important differences in the individual in overall visual ability and in visual ability in 4 functional domains as measured by the Activity Inventory. RESULTS: Baseline and post-rehabilitation measures were obtained for 468 patients. Minimum clinically important differences (95% CIs) were observed in nearly half (47% [95% CI, 44%-50%]) of patients in overall visual ability. The prevalence rates of patients with minimum clinically important differences in visual ability in functional domains were reading (44% [95% CI, 42%-48%]), visual motor function (38% [95% CI, 36%-42%]), visual information processing (33% [95% CI, 31%-37%]), and mobility (27% [95% CI, 25%-31%]). The largest average effect size (Cohen d = 0.87) for the population was observed in overall visual ability. Age (P = .006) was an independent predictor of changes in overall visual ability, and logMAR visual acuity (P = .002) was predictive of changes in visual information processing. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Forty-four to fifty percent of patients presenting for outpatient LVR show clinically meaningful differences in overall visual ability after LVR, and the average effect sizes in overall visual ability are large, close to 1 SD.
PURPOSE: Unilateral peripheral prisms for homonymous hemianopia (HH) expand the visual field through peripheral binocular visual confusion, a stimulus for binocular rivalry that could lead to reduced predominance and partial suppression of the prism image, thereby limiting device functionality. Using natural-scene images and motion videos, we evaluated whether detection was reduced in binocular compared with monocular viewing. METHODS: Detection rates of nine participants with HH or quadranopia and normal binocularity wearing peripheral prisms were determined for static checkerboard perimetry targets briefly presented in the prism expansion area and the seeing hemifield. Perimetry was conducted under monocular and binocular viewing with targets presented over videos of real-world driving scenes and still frame images derived from those videos. RESULTS: With unilateral prisms, detection rates in the prism expansion area were significantly lower in binocular than in monocular (prism eye) viewing on the motion background (medians, 13 and 58%, respectively, p = 0.008) but not the still frame background (medians, 63 and 68%, p = 0.123). When the stimulus for binocular rivalry was reduced by fitting prisms bilaterally in one HH and one normally sighted subject with simulated HH, prism-area detection rates on the motion background were not significantly different (p > 0.6) in binocular and monocular viewing. CONCLUSIONS: Conflicting binocular motion appears to be a stimulus for reduced predominance of the prism image in binocular viewing when using unilateral peripheral prisms. However, the effect was only found for relatively small targets. Further testing is needed to determine the extent to which this phenomenon might affect the functionality of unilateral peripheral prisms in more real-world situations.
PURPOSE: A pocket-sized collision warning device equipped with a video camera was developed to predict impending collisions based on time to collision rather than proximity. A study was conducted in a high density obstacle course to evaluate the effect of the device on collision avoidance in people with peripheral field loss (PFL). METHODS: The 41 meter long loop-shaped obstacle course consisted of 46 stationary obstacles from floor to head level, and oncoming pedestrians. Twenty five patients with tunnel vision (n = 13) or hemianopia (n = 12) completed 4 consecutive loops with and without the device, while not using any other habitual mobility aid. Walking direction and device usage order were counterbalanced. Number of collisions and preferred percentage of walking speed (PPWS) were compared within subjects. RESULTS: Collisions were reduced significantly by about 37% (p < 0.001) with the device (Floor-level obstacles were excluded because the device was not designed for them). No patient had more collisions when using the device. While the PPWS also reduced with the device from 52% to 49% (p = 0.053), this did not account for the lower number of collisions, as the changes in collisions and PPWS were not correlated (p = 0.516). CONCLUSIONS: The device may help patients with a wide range of PFL avoid collisions with high-level obstacles and barely affect their walking speed.