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The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between binocular vision and fixation stability (FS). Across three experiments, we investigated (a) whether fixation was more stable during binocular versus monocular viewing across a range of stimulus contrasts in normal observers (n = 11), (b) whether binocular rivalry affected FS in normal observers (n = 14), and (c) whether FS was affected by interocular contrast differences in normal observers (n = 8) and patients with anisometropic amblyopia (n = 5). FS was quantified using global bivariate contour ellipse area, and microsaccades were detected using an unsupervised cluster-detection method. In normal observers, binocular viewing showed more stable fixation at all stimulus contrasts, and binocular rivalry did not affect FS. When interocular contrast was manipulated under dichoptic viewing conditions, normal observers exhibited less stable fixation for an eye that viewed 0% contrast (no fixation target). In anisometropic amblyopia, fixation was less stable in both eyes when the fellow eye viewed at 0% contrast. No effects were observed at other interocular contrast differences. Overall, binocular FS was impaired in both eyes in anisometropic amblyopia compared to normal observers. We conclude that binocular vision influences FS in normal observers but in an all-or-nothing fashion, whereby the presence or absence of a binocular target is important rather than the relative contrast of the targets in each eye. In anisometropic amblyopia, the fellow eye appears to control FS of both eyes under dichoptic viewing conditions.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of vision
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