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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Jun;46(6):1873-81.

The response to visual form deprivation differs with age in marmosets.

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  • 1New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To characterize the effects of visual form deprivation by diffuser in marmoset monkey eyes across a range of ages.


Twenty-four common marmosets were grouped by onset of deprivation (group 1: 0-39 days, n = 6; group 2: 40-99 days, n = 10; and group 3: 100-200 days, n = 8). Monocular form deprivation was induced with a white translucent diffuser worn for 28 to 88 days (mean durations: group 1, 32 days; group 2, 56 days; and group 3, 51 days). Refractive state, corneal curvature, and vitreous chamber depth were measured after cycloplegia. Both experimental and control eyes were measured multiple times before, during, and after the visual deprivation period.


Marmosets in all age groups tested were susceptible to visual form deprivation myopia; however, the response to form deprivation was variable and included a majority with axial myopia (n = 15), several nonresponders (n = 4), a single late responder (axial myopia after the end of deprivation period), and several axial hyperopes (n = 4). For all animals that responded with axial myopia, the increase in vitreous chamber depth and myopia was inversely proportional to the age of onset of deprivation (ANOVA, P < 0.05). After the end of the period of deprivation, recovery from myopia by reduction of the axial growth rate was observed in three animals from group 1 and three animals from group 2.


Form deprivation by diffusers disrupted emmetropization in marmosets over a range of ages. The responses varied among individuals and with age, suggesting that the maturity of the eye may influence the response to visual signals responsible for form deprivation myopia and perhaps emmetropization. Recovery from diffuser-induced form deprivation myopia was apparent in some animals, in contrast to that reported for visual deprivation by lid-suturing, and appears more prevalent in the younger animals.

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