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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Nov 1;53(12):7458-68. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10550.

Effects of strabismic amblyopia and strabismus without amblyopia on visuomotor behavior, I: saccadic eye movements.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada



It has previously been shown that anisometropic amblyopia affects the programming and execution of saccades. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of strabismic amblyopia on saccade performance.


Fourteen adults with strabismic amblyopia, 13 adults with strabismus without amblyopia, and 14 visually normal adults performed saccades and reach-to-touch movements to targets presented at ± 5° and ± 10° eccentricity during binocular and monocular viewing. Latency, amplitude, and peak velocity of primary and secondary saccades were measured.


In contrast to visually normal participants who had shorter primary saccade latency during binocular viewing, no binocular advantage was found in patients with strabismus with or without amblyopia. Patients with amblyopia had longer saccade latency during amblyopic eye viewing (P < 0.0001); however, there were no significant differences in saccade amplitude precision among the three groups across viewing conditions. Further analysis showed that only patients with severe amblyopia and no stereopsis (n = 4) exhibited longer latency (which was more pronounced for more central targets; P < 0.0001), and they also had reduced amplitude precision during amblyopic eye viewing. In contrast, patients with mild amblyopia (n = 5) and no stereopsis had normal latency and reduced precision during amblyopic eye viewing (P < 0.001), whereas those with gross stereopsis (n = 5) had normal latency and precision. There were no differences in peak velocity among the groups.


Distinct patterns of saccade performance according to different levels of visual acuity and stereoscopic losses in strabismic amblyopia were found. These findings were in contrast to those in anisometropic amblyopia in which the altered saccade performance was independent of the extent of visual acuity or stereoscopic deficits. These results were most likely due to different long-term sensory suppression mechanisms in strabismic versus anisometropic amblyopia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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