A Novel Experimental Method for Measuring Vergence and Accommodation Responses to the Main Near Stimuli

Horwood,A, Riddell P. Strabismus 2009 17(1), 9-15

  • A simpler description of the detailed paper below

Binocular disparity, blur, and proximal cues drive convergence and accommodation. Disparity is considered to be the main vergence cue and blur the main accommodation cue. We have developed a remote haploscopic photorefractor to measure simultaneous vergence and accommodation objectively in a wide range of participants of all ages while fixating targets at between 0.3 and 2 m. By separating the three main near cues, we can explore their relative weighting in three-, two-, one-, and zero-cue conditions. Disparity can be manipulated by remote occlusion; blur cues manipulated by using either a Gabor patch or a detailed picture target; looming cues by either scaling or not scaling target size with distance. In normal orthophoric, emmetropic, symptom-free, naive visually mature participants, disparity was by far the most significant cue to both vergence and accommodation. Accommodation responses dropped dramatically if disparity was not available. Blur only had a clinically significant effect when disparity was absent. Proximity had very little effect. There was considerable inter-participant variation. We predict that relative weighting of near cue use is likely to vary between clinical groups and present some individual cases as examples. We are using this naturalistic tool to research strabismus, vergence and accommodation development, and emmetropization.