Purpose: Amblyopia and strabismus affect 2%–5% of the population and cause a broad range of visual deficits. The response to treatment is generally assessed using visual acuity, which is an insensitive measure of visual function and may, therefore, underestimate binocular vision gains in these patients. On the other hand, the contrast sensitivity function (CSF) generally takes longer to assess than visual acuity, but it is better correlated with improvement in a range of visual tasks and, notably, with improvements in binocular vision. The present study aims to assess monocular and binocular CSFs in amblyopia and strabismus patients.Methods: Both monocular CSFs and the binocular CSF were assessed for subjects with amblyopia (n = 11), strabismus without amblyopia (n = 20), and normally sighted controls (n = 24) using a tablet-based implementation of the quick CSF, which can assess a full CSF in <3 min. Binocular summation was evaluated against a baseline model of simple probability summation.Results: The CSF of amblyopic eyes was impaired at mid-to-high spatial frequencies compared to fellow eyes, strabismic eyes without amblyopia, and control eyes. Binocular contrast summation exceeded probability summation in controls, but not in subjects with amblyopia (with or without strabismus) or strabismus without amblyopia who were able to fuse at the test distance. Binocular summation was less than probability summation in strabismic subjects who were unable to fuse.Conclusions: We conclude that monocular and binocular contrast sensitivity deficits define important characteristics of amblyopia and strabismus that are not captured by visual acuity alone and can be measured efficiently using the quick CSF.
The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) relates the visibility of a spatial pattern to both its size and contrast, and is therefore a more comprehensive assessment of visual function than acuity, which only determines the smallest resolvable pattern size. Because of the additional dimension of contrast, estimating the CSF can be more time-consuming. Here, we compare two methods for rapid assessment of the CSF that were implemented on a tablet device. For a single-trial assessment, we asked 63 myopes and 38 emmetropes to tap the peak of a "sweep grating" on the tablet's touch screen. For a more precise assessment, subjects performed 50 trials of the quick CSF method in a 10-AFC letter recognition task. Tests were performed with and without optical correction, and in monocular and binocular conditions; one condition was measured twice to assess repeatability.
Results show that both methods are highly correlated; using both common and novel measures for test-retest repeatability, however, the quick CSF delivers more precision with testing times of under three minutes. Further analyses show how a population prior can improve convergence rate of the quick CSF, and how the multi-dimensional output of the quick CSF can provide greater precision than scalar outcome measures.