Integrating oculomotor and perceptual training to induce a pseudofovea: A model system for studying central vision loss

Academic Article


  • People with a central scotoma often adopt an eccentric retinal location (Preferred Retinal Locus, PRL) for fixation. Here, we proposed a novel training paradigm as a model system to study the nature of the PRL formation and its impacts on visual function. The training paradigm was designed to effectively induce a PRL at any intended retinal location by integrating oculomotor control and pattern recognition. Using a gaze-contingent display, a simulated central scotoma was induced in eight normally sighted subjects. A subject's entire peripheral visual field was blurred, except for a small circular aperture with location randomly assigned to each subject (to the left, right, above, or below the scotoma). Under this viewing condition, subjects performed a demanding oculomotor and visual recognition task. Various visual functions were tested before and after training at both PRL and nonPRL locations. After 6-10 hr of the training, all subjects formed their PRL within the clear window. Both oculomotor control and visual recognition performance significantly improved. Moreover, there was considerable improvement at PRL location in high-level function, such as trigram letter-recognition, reading, and spatial attention, but not in low-level function, such as acuity and contrast sensitivity. Our results demonstrated that within a relatively short time, a PRL could be induced at any intended retinal location in normallysighted subjects with a simulated scotoma. Our training paradigm might not only hold promise as a model system to study the dynamic nature of the PRL formation, but also serve as a rehabilitation regimen for individuals with central vision loss.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Journal of Vision  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu R; Kwon MY
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 6