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Deficits in reach planning and on-line grasp control in adults with amblyopia

Grant, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-6141-538X & Conway, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0001-5016-0529 (2023). Deficits in reach planning and on-line grasp control in adults with amblyopia. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 64(14), article number 45. doi: 10.1167/iovs.64.14.45


Purpose: Adults with amblyopia exhibit impairments when reaching to grasp three-dimensional objects. We examined whether their deficits derive from problems with feedforward planning of these prehension movements or in using visual feedback to control them on-line.

Methods: Twenty-one adults with mild to severe anisometropic and/or strabismic amblyopia and reduced binocularity participated, along with 21 normally sighted age- and gender-matched controls. Subjects used their preferred hand to reach for, precision grasp, and then lift cylindrical table-top objects (two sizes, two distances) using binocular, dominant eye, or amblyopic/non-sighting eye vision just to plan their movements during a 1-second task preview with vision then occluded so feedback was absent or to plan and execute them (i.e., with visual feedback fully available). Kinematic and error measures of the timing and accuracy of the reach and grasp were quantified by view and feedback and compared by ANOVA.

Results: The amblyopic adults performed generally worse than controls across all three views in both feedback conditions. With vision for planning only, their movement initiation and duration times were significantly increased, as were their initial reach times and error rates, especially when using the amblyopic eye alone, whatever its visual acuity loss. These relative planning deficits were only partially rectified with visual feedback available on-line. Relative grasp planning deficits were less evident in the amblyopia group, who instead produced significantly increased grip times and errors under binocular and amblyopic eye visual feedback conditions, although the subgroup with unmeasurable stereovision also formed wider (inaccurate) grasps across all conditions.

Conclusions: Adults with amblyopia seem to have problems constructing reliable internal spatial representations for the feedforward planning of prehension, particularly with their affected eye and mainly affecting their reach, with additional deficits in on-line grasp control related to poor binocularity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Publisher Keywords: eye–hand coordination, on-line control, binocular stereovision, visual acuity, strabismus
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
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