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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):914-921. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20727.

Effects of Reduced Acuity and Stereo Acuity on Saccades and Reaching Movements in Adults With Amblyopia and Strabismus.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 3Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



Our previous work has shown that amblyopia disrupts the planning and execution of visually-guided saccadic and reaching movements. We investigated the association between the clinical features of amblyopia and aspects of visuomotor behavior that are disrupted by amblyopia.


A total of 55 adults with amblyopia (22 anisometropic, 18 strabismic, 15 mixed mechanism), 14 adults with strabismus without amblyopia, and 22 visually-normal control participants completed a visuomotor task while their eye and hand movements were recorded. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the association between three clinical predictors of amblyopia (amblyopic eye [AE] acuity, stereo sensitivity, and eye deviation) and seven kinematic outcomes, including saccadic and reach latency, interocular saccadic and reach latency difference, saccadic and reach precision, and PA/We ratio (an index of reach control strategy efficacy using online feedback correction).


Amblyopic eye acuity explained 28% of the variance in saccadic latency, and 48% of the variance in mean saccadic latency difference between the amblyopic and fellow eyes (i.e., interocular latency difference). In contrast, for reach latency, AE acuity explained only 10% of the variance. Amblyopic eye acuity was associated with reduced endpoint saccadic (23% of variance) and reach (22% of variance) precision in the amblyopic group. In the strabismus without amblyopia group, stereo sensitivity and eye deviation did not explain any significant variance in saccadic and reach latency or precision. Stereo sensitivity was the best clinical predictor of deficits in reach control strategy, explaining 23% of total variance of PA/We ratio in the amblyopic group and 12% of variance in the strabismus without amblyopia group when viewing with the amblyopic/nondominant eye.


Deficits in eye and limb movement initiation (latency) and target localization (precision) were associated with amblyopic acuity deficit, whereas changes in the sensorimotor reach strategy were associated with deficits in stereopsis. Importantly, more than 50% of variance was not explained by the measured clinical features. Our findings suggest that other factors, including higher order visual processing and attention, may have an important role in explaining the kinematic deficits observed in amblyopia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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