Effects of Temporal Frequency on Binocular Deficits in Amblyopia

Anna Kosovicheva, Adriana Ferreira, Fuensanta A Vera-Diaz, Peter J Bex
Vision Research 2019 August 9
Amblyopia is associated with a range of well-known visual spatial deficits, which include reduced contrast sensitivity, spatial distortions, interocular suppression, and impaired stereopsis. Previous work has also pointed to deficits in processing dynamic visual information, but it is unknown whether these deficits influence performance under binocular conditions. We examined the effects of temporal modulation on contrast sensitivity and binocular interactions in a preliminary study of 8 adults with amblyopia and 14 normally-sighted control subjects. For each observer, we measured interocular balance and stereopsis thresholds with binocular flicker across a range of four temporal (0, 4, 7.5, and 12 Hz) and spatial (1, 2, 4, and 8 cpd) frequencies. Interocular balance was estimated by varying the relative contrast of dichoptic letter pairs to produce perceptual reports of each letter with equal frequency, and stereopsis thresholds were measured by determining the minimum disparity at which subjects identified a front-depth target with 75% accuracy. Consistent with previous findings, we observed greater interocular imbalance and impaired stereoacuity at high spatial frequencies in amblyopes. In contrast, the effects of temporal frequency on performance were smaller: across both groups, interocular imbalance was largest at mid-to-low temporal frequencies, and stereopsis thresholds were unaffected by temporal frequency. Our results suggest that there may be a previously unreported effect of temporal frequency on interocular balance, as well as a possible dissociation between the effects of flicker on interocular balance and stereopsis.


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