We compared photopic and scotopic multifocal pupillographic stimuli in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Both eyes of 18 normal and 14 AMD subjects were tested with four stimulus variants presented at photopic and 126 times lower luminances. The multifocal stimuli presented 24 test regions/eye to the central 60°. The stimulus variants had two different check sizes, and when presented either flickered (15 Hz) for 266 ms, or were steady for 133 ms. Mean differences from normal of 5 to 7 dB were observed in the central visual field for both photopic and scotopic stimuli (all p < 0.00002). The best areas under receiver operating characteristic plots for exudative AMD in the photopic and scotopic conditions were 92.9 ± 8.0 and 90.3 ± 5.7% respectively, and in less severely affected eyes 83.8 ± 9.7% and 76.9 ± 8.2%. Damage recorded at photopic levels was possibly more diffusely distributed across the visual field. Sensitivity and specificity was similar at photopic and scotopic levels.
The effect of myopic defocus on myopia progression was assessed in a two-year prospective study on 94 myopes aged 9-14 years, randomly allocated to an undercorrected group or a fully corrected control group. The 47 experimental subjects were blurred by approximately +0.75 D (blurring VA to 6/12), while the controls were fully corrected. Undercorrection produced more rapid myopia progression and axial elongation (ANOVA, F(1,374)=14.32, p<0.01). Contrary to animal studies, myopic defocus speeds up myopia development in already myopic humans. Myopia could be caused by a failure to detect the direction of defocus rather than by a mechanism exhibiting a zero-point error.
Alongside difficulties with communication and social interaction, autism is often accompanied by unusual sensory and perceptual experiences including enhanced visual performance on tasks that involve separating local parts from global context. This superiority may be the result of atypical integrative processing, involving feedback and lateral connections between visual neurons. The current study investigated the integrity of these connections in autistic adults by examining two psychophysics tasks that rely on these processes - collinear facilitation and contour integration. The relative contribution of feedback and lateral connectivity was studied by altering the timing of the target relative to the flankers in the collinear facilitation task, in 16 autistic and 16 non-autistic adults. There were no significant differences in facilitation between the autistic and non-autistic groups, indicating that for this task and participant sample, lateral and feedback connectivity appear relatively intact in autistic individuals. Contour integration was examined in a different group of 20 autistic and 18 non-autistic individuals, for open and closed contours to assess the closure effect (improved detection of closed compared to open contours). Autistic individuals showed a reduced closure effect at both short (150 ms) and longer (500 ms) stimulus presentation durations that was driven by better performance of the autistic group for the open contours. These results suggest that reduced closure in a simple contour detection paradigm is unlikely to be due to slower global processing. Reduced closure has implications for understanding sensory overload by contributing to reduced figure-ground segregation of salient visual features.
Saccadic localisation of targets of various properties has been extensively studied, but rarely for texture-defined figures. In this paper, three experiments that investigate the way information from a texture target is processed in order to provide a signal for eye movement control are presented. Participants made saccades to target regions embedded in a background structure, and the saccade landing position and latency were measured. The textures comprised line elements, with orientations of the lines configured to form the figure and ground. Various orientation profile configurations (Block, Blur, and Cornsweet), were used in order to measure the role of edge profiles in driving eye movements and producing salience. We found that in all cases the visual system is in fact able to effectively segregate a texture figure from the ground in order to accurately plan a saccade to the target-figure. While saccadic latency was the highest for the Blur profile, the mean saccadic landing position was mostly unaffected by the various profiles (Experiment 1). More specifically, we showed that saccades were directed to the centre-of-gravity of the target (Experiment 2). We also found that figures with information of orientation contrast at both the edge and centre of figure (i.e. Block) produced the highest level of saliency in attracting eye movements (Experiment 3). Overall, the results show that saccades are planned on the representation of the whole target shape rather than a local salient region based on orientation contrast cues, and that the various texture profiles were important only to the extent that they affected the time to programme a saccade.