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Does Glaucoma Alter Eye Movements When Viewing Images of Natural Scenes? A Between-Eye Study

Asfaw, D. S, Jones, P. R. ORCID: 0000-0001-7672-8397, Monter, V. M. , Smith, N. D. & Crabb, D. P. (2018). Does Glaucoma Alter Eye Movements When Viewing Images of Natural Scenes? A Between-Eye Study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 59(8), doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-23779


Purpose: To investigate whether glaucoma produces measurable changes in eye movements.

Methods: Fifteen glaucoma patients with asymmetric vision loss (difference in mean deviation [MD] > 6 dB between eyes) were asked to monocularly view 120 images of natural scenes, presented sequentially on a computer monitor. Each image was viewed twice—once each with the better and worse eye. Patients' eye movements were recorded with an Eyelink 1000 eye-tracker. Eye-movement parameters were computed and compared within participants (better eye versus worse eye). These parameters included a novel measure: saccadic reversal rate (SRR), as well as more traditional metrics such as saccade amplitude, fixation counts, fixation duration, and spread of fixation locations (bivariate contour ellipse area [BCEA]). In addition, the associations of these parameters with clinical measures of vision were investigated.

Results: In the worse eye, saccade amplitude
(P=0.012;−13%) and BCEA (P=0.005;−16%) were smaller, while SRR was greater (P=0.018;+16%). There was a significant correlation between the intereye difference in BCEA, and differences in MD values (Spearman′s r=0.65;P=0.01), while differences in SRR were associated with differences in visual acuity (Spearman′s r=0.64;P=0.01

). Furthermore, between-eye differences in BCEA were a significant predictor of between-eye differences in MD: for every 1-dB difference in MD, BCEA reduced by 6.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.6%–10.3%).

Conclusions: Eye movements are altered by visual field loss, and these changes are related to changes in clinical measures. Eye movements recorded while passively viewing images could potentially be used as biomarkers for visual field damage.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2018 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Publisher Keywords: glaucoma, eye tracking, automated perimetry, eye movements, visual field
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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