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Contrast Rivalry Paradigm Reveals Suppression of Monocular Input in Keratoconus

Marella, B. L., Conway, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5016-0529, Suttle, C. M. & Bharadwaj, S. R. (2021). Contrast Rivalry Paradigm Reveals Suppression of Monocular Input in Keratoconus. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 62(2), article number 12. doi: 10.1167/iovs.62.2.12


Purpose: Keratoconus results in image quality loss in one or both eyes due to increased corneal distortion. This study quantified the depth of monocular suppression in keratoconus due to this image quality loss using a binocular contrast rivalry paradigm.

Methods: Contrast rivalry was induced in 50 keratoconic cases (11–31 years) and 12 age-matched controls by dichoptically viewing orthogonal Gabor patches of 5 cycles per degree (cpd) and 1.5 cpd spatial frequency for 120 seconds with their best-corrected spectacles and rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. The dwell time on each eye's percept was determined at baseline (100% contrast bilaterally) and at varying contrast levels (80–2.5%) in the stronger eye of keratoconus or dominant eye of controls. The contrast reduction needed in the stronger eye to balance dwell times on both eyes was considered a measure of suppression depth.

Results: At baseline with 5 cpd stimuli and spectacle correction, the rivalry switches were less frequent and biased toward the stronger eye of cases, all relative to controls (P < 0.001). The contrast balance point of cases (20.51% [10.7–61%]) was lower than the controls (99.80% [98.6–100%]; P < 0.001) and strongly associated with the overall and interocular difference in disease severity (r = 0.83, P < 0.001). The suppression depth reduced for 1.5 cpd (70.8% [21.7–94%]), relative to 5 cpd stimulus (P < 0.001) and with contact lenses (80.1% [49.5–91.7%]), relative to spectacles (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The eye with lesser disease severity dominates binocular viewing in keratoconus. The suppression depth of the poorer eye depends on the extent of bilateral disease severity, optical correction modality, and the target spatial frequency.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2021 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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