Mechanisms of recovery of visual function in adult amblyopia through a tailored action video game

Indu Vedamurthy, Mor Nahum, Daphne Bavelier, Dennis M. Levi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Amblyopia is a deficit in vision that arises from abnormal visual experience early in life. It was long thought to develop into a permanent deficit, unless properly treated before the end of the sensitive period for visual recovery. However, a number of studies now suggest that adults with long-standing amblyopia may at least partially recover visual acuity and stereopsis following perceptual training. Eliminating or reducing interocular suppression has been hypothesized to be at the root of these changes. Here we show that playing a novel dichoptic video game indeed results in reduced suppression, improved visual acuity and, in some cases, improved stereopsis. Our relatively large cohort of adults with amblyopia, allowed us, for the first time, to assess the link between visual function recovery and reduction in suppression. Surprisingly, no significant correlation was found between decreased suppression and improved visual function. This finding challenges the prevailing view and suggests that while dichoptic training improves visual acuity and stereopsis in adult amblyopia, reduced suppression is unlikely to be at the root of visual recovery. These results are discussed in the context of their implication on recovery of amblyopia in adults.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8482
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grant RO1EY020976 from the National Eye Institute and by the McDonnell Foundation ‘‘Critical Periods Network’’. We thank Jessica Bayliss for her role in game development.

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