Contrast Sensitivity in Eyes with Central Scotoma: Effect of Stimulus Drift

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SIGNIFICANCEIn the field of visual rehabilitation of patients with central visual field loss (CFL), knowledge on how peripheral visual function can be improved is essential. This study presents measurements of peripheral dynamic contrast sensitivity (with optical correction) for off-axis viewing angles in subjects with CFL.PURPOSESubjects with CFL rely on a peripheral preferred retinal locus (PRL) for many visual tasks. It is therefore important to ascertain that contrast sensitivity (CS) is maximized in the PRL. This study evaluates the effect of stimulus motion, in combination with optical correction, on CS in subjects with CFL.METHODSThe off-axis refractive errors in the PRL of five young CFL subjects were measured with a COAS open-view Hartmann-Shack aberrometer. Low-contrast (25% and 10%) and high-contrast resolution acuity for stationary gratings was assessed with and without optical correction. High-contrast resolution was also measured for gratings drifting at 7.5 Hz (within a fixed Gaussian window). Furthermore, resolution CS was evaluated for both stationary and moving gratings with optical correction for a total of two to three spatial frequencies per subject.RESULTSHigh-contrast resolution acuity was relatively insensitive to stimulus drift motion of 7.5 Hz, whereas CS for gratings of 0.5 cycles per degree improved with drift for all subjects. Furthermore, both high- and low-contrast static resolution improved with optical correction.CONCLUSIONSJust as for healthy eyes, stimulus motion of 7.5 Hz enhances CS for gratings of low spatial frequency also in the PRL of eyes with CFL. Concurrently, high-contrast resolution is unaffected by the 7.5-Hz drift but improves with off-axis optical correction. This highlights the importance of providing optimal refractive correction for subjects with CFL and that stimulus motion can be used to further enhance CS at low spatial frequencies.

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