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Peter Essig, Yannick Sauer, Siegfried Wahl; Reflexive Saccades Used for Objective and Automated Measurements of Contrast Sensitivity in Selected Areas of Visual Field. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(5):29. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.5.29.
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This study proposes a novel approach for objective and automated peripheral contrast sensitivity (CS) testing using reflexive saccades. Here the CS was examined in various areas the of visual field (VF) using a live analysis of gaze data. For validation of the new test, we examined CS with an established procedure of identifying the orientation of a contrast stimulus.
To perform and validate the saccade-based testing, two separate measurement events were performed. In the first, participants were asked to execute a saccade toward a newly-appeared stimulus in their VF. After the saccade execution or stimulus expiry, reporting the target orientation was required in a four-alternatives forced choice (4AFC). Therefore the first measurement yields two outcomes (objective and subjective). In the second measurement, only the identification of the stimulus orientation was requested, while fixating a central mark. Stimulus contrast was controlled by an adaptive psychometric procedure in both measurements.
The study found strong correlations (all r ≥ 0.79) of CS values for all three possible testing methods (saccade-based responding in saccadic measurements, keyboard-based responding in saccadic measurements, keyboard-based responding in non-saccadic measurements), showing the feasibility of employment of reflexive saccades in such testing. Second, this study shows a significant influence of eccentricity and direction of the stimulus on the CS function.
CS measured with reflexive saccades is comparable to other testing methods over several areas of the participant's VF. Hence, we propose it as a novel and objective testing procedure for CS measurements.
Assessment of CS using reflexive saccades extends the portfolio of suggested eye movement-based tests, allowing objective examination across the VF, which might be helpful especially in the early detection of various eye diseases.
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