Vernier Acuity Is Normal in Migraine, whereas Global Form and Global Motion Perception Are Not

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PURPOSE. A recent study has demonstrated that some people with migraine display impairments of intermediate stages of motion and form processing. Deficits were identified by using tasks that required that local stimulus attributes be integrated into global percepts. Neurons capable of global processing of form and motion are known to be present in extrastriate cortical areas V4 and V5, respectively. It is not clear from the literature whether deficits of global processing in migraineurs are likely to arise from reduced input to extrastriate cortex from primary visual cortex ( V1). The purpose of the study was to compare presumed measures of V1 performance ( vernier acuity) to measures of global form and motion perception in migraineurs.METHODS. Thirty migraineurs ( 17 with aura, and 13 without) and 20 age- matched nonheadache control subjects participated. Intermediate level motion and form perceptions were measured using global dot motion stimuli and Glass patterns, respectively. Vernier stimuli were broad vertical bars composed of small dot elements. Both a static luminance stimulus and a motion defined form vernier stimulus were used.RESULTS. Mean migraine and control group performance were not significantly different for either vernier task ( static: t((48)) = 0.39, P = 0.70; motion: t((48)) = 0.29, P = 0.77). Mean migraine group performance was significantly worse than in control subjects for both the global form ( t((48)) = 2.06, P = 0.04) and global motion ( t((48)) = 2.87, P < 0.01) tasks.CONCLUSIONS. On average, migraineurs demonstrate abnormalities of intermediate stages of both motion and form processing. These abnormalities do not appear to arise from dropout of performance at V1, as vernier acuity was normal in the same individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3213-3219
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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