Amblyopia is a visual disorder caused by an anomalous early visual experience. It has been suggested that suppression of the visual input from the weaker eye might be a primary underlying mechanism of the amblyopic syndrome. However, it is still an unresolved question to what extent neural responses to the visual information coming from the amblyopic eye are suppressed during binocular viewing. To address this question we measured event-related potentials (ERP) to foveal face stimuli in amblyopic patients, both in monocular and binocular viewing conditions. The results revealed no difference in the amplitude and latency of early components of the ERP responses between the binocular and fellow eye stimulation. On the other hand, early ERP components were reduced and delayed in the case of monocular stimulation of the amblyopic eye as compared to the fellow eye stimulation or to binocular viewing. The magnitude of the amblyopic effect measured on the ERP amplitudes was comparable to that found on the fMRI responses in the fusiform face area using the same face stimuli and task conditions. Our findings showing that the amblyopic effects present on the early ERP components in the case of monocular stimulation are not manifested in the ERP responses during binocular viewing suggest that input from the amblyopic eye is completely suppressed already at the earliest stages of visual cortical processing when stimuli are viewed by both eyes.
- functional magnetic resonance Imaging
- interocular suppression
- visual cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Environmental Science(all)