Influence of Hemianopic Visual Field Loss on Visual Motor Control

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Influence of Hemianopic Visual Field Loss on Visual Motor Control

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Title: Influence of Hemianopic Visual Field Loss on Visual Motor Control
Author: Niehorster, Diederick C.; Peli, Eliezer; Haun, Andrew Morgan; Li, Li

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Citation: Niehorster, Diederick C., Eli Peli, Andrew Haun, and Li Li. 2013. Influence of hemianopic visual field loss on visual motor control. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56615.
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Abstract: Background: Homonymous hemianopia (HH) is an anisotropic visual impairment characterized by the binocular inability to see one side of the visual field. Patients with HH often misperceive visual space. Here we investigated how HH affects visual motor control. Methods and Findings: Seven patients with complete HH and no neglect or cognitive decline and seven gender- and age-matched controls viewed displays in which a target moved randomly along the horizontal or the vertical axis. They used a joystick to control the target movement to keep it at the center of the screen. We found that the mean deviation of the target position from the center of the screen along the horizontal axis was biased toward the blind side for five out of seven HH patients. More importantly, while the normal vision controls showed more precise control and larger response amplitudes when the target moved along the horizontal rather than the vertical axis, the control performance of the HH patients was not different between these two target motion experimental conditions. Conclusions: Compared with normal vision controls, HH affected patients' control performance when the target moved horizontally (i.e., along the axis of their visual impairment) rather than vertically. We conclude that hemianopia affects the use of visual information for online control of a moving target specific to the axis of visual impairment. The implications of the findings for driving in hemianopic patients are discussed.
Published Version: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056615
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