Saccadic latency in amblyopia

Suzanne P. McKee, Dennis M. Levi, Clifton M. Schor, J. Anthony Movshon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measured saccadic latencies in a large sample (total n = 459) of individuals with amblyopia or risk factors for amblyopia, e.g., strabismus or anisometropia, and normal control subjects. We presented an easily visible target randomly to the left or right, 3.5° from fixation. The interocular difference in saccadic latency is highly correlated with the interocular difference in LogMAR (Snellen) acuity-as the acuity difference increases, so does the latency difference. Strabismic and strabismicanisometropic amblyopes have, on average, a larger difference between their eyes in LogMAR acuity than anisometropic amblyopes and thus their interocular latency difference is, on average, significantly larger than anisometropic amblyopes. Despite its relation to LogMAR acuity, the longer latency in strabismic amblyopes cannot be attributed either to poor resolution or to reduced contrast sensitivity, because their interocular differences in grating acuity and in contrast sensitivity are roughly the same as for anisometropic amblyopes. The correlation between LogMAR acuity and saccadic latency arises because of the confluence of two separable effects in the strabismic amblyopic eye-poor letter recognition impairs LogMAR acuity while an intrinsic sluggishness delays reaction time. We speculate that the frequent microsaccades and the accompanying attentional shifts, made while strabismic amblyopes struggle to maintain fixation with their amblyopic eyes, result in all types of reactions being irreducibly delayed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalJournal of vision
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016


  • Acuity
  • Amblyopia
  • Attention
  • Reaction time
  • Saccades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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