Perceptual Learning in Children With Infantile Nystagmus: Effects on 2D Oculomotor Behavior
SourceInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 57, 10, (2016), pp. 4229-38
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OW PsKI [owi]
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
PURPOSE: To determine changes in oculomotor behavior after 10 sessions of perceptual learning on a letter discrimination task in children with infantile nystagmus (IN). METHODS: Children with IN (18 children with idiopathic IN and 18 with oculocutaneous albinism accompanied by IN) aged 6 to 11 years were divided into two training groups matched on diagnosis: an uncrowded training group (n = 18) and a crowded training group (n = 18). Target letters always appeared briefly (500 ms) at an eccentric location, forcing subjects to quickly redirect their gaze. Training occurred twice per week for 5 consecutive weeks (3500 trials total). Norm data and test-retest values were collected from children with normal vision (n = 11). Outcome measures were: nystagmus characteristics (amplitude, frequency, intensity, and the expanded nystagmus acuity function); fixation stability (the bivariate contour ellipse area and foveation time); and saccadic eye movements (latencies and accuracy) made during a simple saccade task and a crowded letter-identification task. RESULTS: After training, saccadic responses of children with IN improved on the saccade task (latencies decreased by 14 +/- 4 ms and gains increased by 0.03 +/- 0.01), but not on the crowded letter task. There were also no training-induced changes in nystagmus characteristics and fixation stability. Although children with normal vision had shorter latencies in the saccade task (47 +/- 14 ms at baseline), test-retest changes in their saccade gains and latencies were almost equal to the training effects observed in children with IN. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the improvement in visual performance after perceptual learning in children with IN is primarily due to improved sensory processing rather than improved two-dimensional oculomotor behavior.
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