(1/253) Increased receptive field size in the surround of chronic lesions in the adult cat visual cortex.

Visual cortical lesions destroy the target cells for geniculocortical fibers from a certain retinotopic region. This leads to a cortical scotoma. We have investigated the receptive fields of cells in the visual cortex before, 2 days and 2 months after focal ibotenic acid lesions in the adult cat visual cortex and have found signs of receptive field plasticity in the surroundings of the chronic but not the acute and subacute excitotoxic lesions. In the subacute state (first two days post lesion) receptive field sizes of cells at the border of the lesion were reduced in size or remained unchanged. Remapping of cortical receptive fields 2 months later revealed a number of cells with multifold enlarged receptive fields at the border of the lesion. The cells with enlarged receptive fields displayed orientation and direction selectivity like normal cells. The size increase appeared not specifically directed towards the scotoma; however, the enlarged receptive fields can reduce the extent of a cortical scotoma, since previously unresponsive regions of the visual field activate cortical cells at the border of the lesion. This late receptive field plasticity could serve as a mechanism for the filling-in of cortical scotomata observed in patients with visual cortex lesions.  (+info)

(2/253) Reading with simulated scotomas: attending to the right is better than attending to the left.

Persons with central field loss must learn to read using eccentric retina. To do this, most adopt a preferred retinal locus (PRL), which substitutes for the fovea. Patients who have central field loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), most often adopt PRL adjacent to and to the left of their scotoma in visual field space. It has been hypothesized that this arrangement of PRL and scotoma would benefit reading. We tested this hypothesis by asking normally-sighted subjects to read with the left or right half of their visual field plus 3.2 degrees in the contralateral field masked from view. Letter identification, word identification, and reading were all slower when only the information in the left visual field was available. This was primarily due to the number of saccades required to successfully read to stimuli. These data imply that patients would be better off with PRL to the right of their scotoma than to the left for the purposes of reading.  (+info)

(3/253) Reading with central field loss: number of letters masked is more important than the size of the mask in degrees.

When the center of a readers, visual field is blocked from view, reading rates decline and eye movement patterns change. This is true whether the central visual field is blocked artificially (i.e. a mask) or through disease (e.g. a retinal scotoma due to macular degeneration). In past studies, when mask size was defined in terms of the number of letters masked from view, reading rates declined sharply as number of letters masked increased. Patients with larger central scotomas (in degrees of visual angle) also read slower. We sought to determine whether number of letters masked or size of the mask in degrees is the predominant factor affecting reading rates and eye movement behavior. By matching number of letters masked across several mask sizes (and compensating for reduced acuity in the periphery), we found that number of letters masked is the more important factor until mask size is quite large (> or = -7.5 degrees) and number of letters masked from view is more than seven.  (+info)

(4/253) Combined use of several preferred retinal loci in patients with macular disorders when reading single words.

To investigate the use of several preferred retinal loci (PRL) when attempting to read, two patients with bilateral central scotomas were asked to decipher single words, successively projected onto the retina using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO). Video-recordings of the fundus image, on which the projected targets were superimposed, were analyzed frame by frame. One patient used two PRL in association and the other used three, each PRL having a specific function. Single word reading made it easier than with full texts to correlate the images parts scrutinized and the retinal areas involved. Then, as patients were unable to describe their reading behavior, the examiner monitored refixation movements using the SLO and asked questions to help them to become aware of their reading behavior. Eventually, they could localize their PRL, describe their specific functions, and switch at will between them.  (+info)

(5/253) Looking behind a pathological blind spot in human retina.

Recent work suggests that dichoptic lateral interactions occur in the region of the visual field of one eye that corresponds to the physiological blind spot in the other eye (Tripathy, S. P., & Levi, D. M. (1994). The two-dimensional shape of spatial interaction zones in the parafovea. Vision Research, 34, 1127-1138.) Here we ask whether dichoptic lateral interactions occur in the region of the visual field of one eye that corresponds to a pathological blind spot, a retinal coloboma in the other eye. To address this question we had the observer report the orientation of a letter 'T' presented within this region in the presence of flanking 'T's presented to the other eye around the coloboma. A large drop in performance was seen due to the flanks, showing the existence of dichoptic lateral interactions in this monocular region. The presence of these dichoptic interactions in a region lacking direct retinal afferents from one eye is consistent with the proposition that long-range horizontal connections of the primary visual cortex mediate these interactions.  (+info)

(6/253) Models for the description of angioscotomas.

To describe small scotomas in visual field examinations several statistical models are proposed and applied to the evaluation of angioscotoma in 13 ophthalmologically normal subjects. A special perimetric grid is used where thresholds can be estimated along a line of narrow-spaced test points which crosses the predicted location of the retinal vessel. A two-stage analysis employs single estimations to fit a threshold curve by means of a special parametric description of the luminance difference sensitivity threshold as a function of stimulus position. An alternative model incorporates the threshold as a function of position into the probabilistic description of the binary response (stimulus seen/not seen).  (+info)

(7/253) Angioscotoma detection with fundus-oriented perimetry. A study with dark and bright stimuli of different sizes.

Fundus-oriented perimetry (FOP) was used to evaluate the effectiveness of different-sized bright and dark stimuli in detecting and quantitatively measuring angioscotoma. The foveolas and optic disks of digitized fundus images were aligned with their psychophysical counterparts to construct individual grids of perimetric stimuli. Each grid included a linear set of test point locations crossing a retinal vessel. Angioscotomas immediately became visible in nine of 13 healthy normal volunteers tested with FOP. Additional mathematical processing of local loss of differential light sensitivity (dls) disclosed an angioscotoma for at least one stimulus condition in all persons tested. The angioscomas were usually deeper for small (12) targets than for large (32') ones. On the other hand, the overall noise at dls thresholds was generally higher for small than for large stimuli regardless of whether the stimuli were bright or dark. No noteworthy differences were found in detection rates or signal-to-noise ratios under different stimulus conditions (dark/bright/small/large). FOP permits the individual arrangement of stimuli for specific morphological conditions and is thus capable of detecting even minute visual field defects such as angioscotomas.  (+info)

(8/253) The "thin man" phenomenon: a sign of cortical plasticity following inferior homonymous paracentral scotomas.

AIM: To investigate an image distortion, experienced by patients with homonymous paracentral scotomas. METHODS: Two consecutive patients with right inferior homonymous paracentral scotomas resulting from ischaemic brain insults were examined. Neuro-ophthalmological examination included tangent screen and Amsler grid evaluation. In addition, the patients were asked to describe a figure showing two vertical lines, identical in length and symmetrically located on either side of a fixation point. This figure was presented in such a way that when the subject looked at the fixation point the right line crossed the scotoma. Finally, the patients were asked whether, when looking at the face of an interlocutor, both sides of the body looked the same. RESULTS: In both patients field defects were markedly smaller when delineated with Amsler grids than using a tangent screen. With the parallel line test, the right line appeared uninterrupted in patient 1, whereas in patient 2 it looked slightly blurred in a two degree long segment corresponding to the middle of the scotoma. To both subjects the right line appeared shorter than the left line. Finally both subjects indicated that, after steadily fixating their interlocutor's face or neck for 5-10 seconds, the left shoulder appeared narrower than the right one, which made him look surprisingly thin. This perceptual alteration was called the "thin man" phenomenon. CONCLUSIONS: Paracentral homonymous scotomas can be associated with perceptual completion and shape distortion, owing to apparent displacement of images adjacent to the scotoma towards the field defect. Occurrence of such a perceptual change should alert one to the possibility of paracentral homonymous scotomas, which often go undetected when using routine visual field testing procedures.  (+info)