Characterization of field loss based on microperimetry is predictive of face recognition difficulties

Tom Wallis, C.P. Taylor, J. Wallis, M.L. Jackson, P.J. Bex

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose. To determine how visual field loss as assessed by microperimetry is correlated with deficits in face recognition.

Methods. Twelve patients (age range, 26-70 years) with impaired visual sensitivity in the central visual field caused by a variety of pathologies and 12 normally sighted controls (control subject [CS] group; age range, 20-68 years) performed a face recognition task for blurred and unblurred faces. For patients, we assessed central visual field loss using microperimetry, fixation stability, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity, and letter acuity.

Results. Patients were divided into two groups by microperimetry: a low vision (LV) group (n = 8) had impaired sensitivity at the anatomical fovea and/or poor fixation stability, whereas a low vision that excluded the fovea (LV:F) group (n = 4) was characterized by at least some residual foveal sensitivity but insensitivity in other retinal regions. The LV group performed worse than the other groups at all blur levels, whereas the performance of the LV:F group was not credibly different from that of the CS group. The performance of the CS and LV:F groups deteriorated as blur increased, whereas the LV group showed consistently poor performance regardless of blur. Visual acuity and fixation stability were correlated with face recognition performance.

Conclusions. Persons diagnosed as having disease affecting the central visual field can recognize faces as well as persons with no visual disease provided that they have residual sensitivity in the anatomical fovea and show stable fixation patterns. Performance in this task is limited by the upper resolution of nonfoveal vision or image blur, whichever is worse. © 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2014

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