Factors limiting contrast sensitivity in experimentally amblyopic macaque monkeys

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Contrast detection is impaired in amblyopes. To understand the contrast processing deficit in amblyopia, we studied the effects of masking noise on contrast threshold in amblyopic macaque monkeys. Amblyopia developed as a result of either experimentally induced strabismus or anisometropia. We used random spatiotemporal broadband noise of varying contrast power to mask the detection of sinusoidal grating patches. We compared masking in the amblyopic and non-amblyopic eyes. From the masking functions, we calculated equivalent noise contrast (the noise power at which detection threshold was elevated by √2) and signal-to-noise ratio (the ratio of threshold contrast to noise contrast at high noise power). The relation between contrast threshold and masking noise level was similar for amblyopic and non-amblyopic eyes. Although in most cases there was some elevation in equivalent noise for amblyopic compared to fellow eyes, signal-to-noise ratio showed greater variation with the extent of amblyopia. These results support the idea that the contrast detection deficit in amblyopia is a cortical deficit. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4152-4160
Number of pages9
JournalVision research
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Amblyopia
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Intrinsic noise
  • Monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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