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Seeing Perceiving. 2012;25(5):471-92.

Eye movements in patients with glaucoma when viewing images of everyday scenes.

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Department of Optometry and Visual Science, City University London, London, EC1V 0HB, UK.


This study tests the hypothesis that patients with bilateral glaucoma exhibit different eye movements compared to normally-sighted people when viewing computer displayed photographs of everyday scenes. Thirty glaucomatous patients and 30 age-related controls with normal vision viewed images on a computer monitor whilst eye movements were simultaneously recorded using an eye tracking system. The patients demonstrated a significant reduction in the average number of saccades compared to controls (P = 0.02; mean reduction of 7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 3-11%)). There was no difference in average saccade amplitude between groups but there was between-person variability in patients. The average elliptical region scanned by the patients by a bivariate contour ellipse area (BCEA) analysis, was more restricted compared to controls (P = 0.004; mean reduction of 23% (95% (CI): 11-35%)). A novel analysis mapping areas of interest in the images indicated a weak association between severity of functional deficit and a tendency to not view regions typically viewed by the controls. In conclusion, some eye movements in some patients with bilateral glaucomatous defects differ from normal-sighted people of a similar age when viewing images of everyday scenes, providing evidence for a potential new window for looking into the functional consequences of the disease.

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