Large moving scenes can induce a sensation of self-motion in stationary observers. This illusion is called “vection.” Glaucoma progressively affects the functioning of peripheral vision, which plays an important role in inducing vection. It is still not known whether vection can be induced in these patients and, if it can, whether the interaction between visual and vestibular inputs is solved appropriately. The aim of this study was to investigate vection responses in patients with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma.
Fifteen patients with mild to moderate glaucoma and 15 age-matched controls were exposed to a random-dot pattern at a short viewing distance and in a dark room. The pattern was projected on a large screen and rotated clockwise with an angular speed of 45 degrees per second to induce a sensation of self-rotation. Vection latency, vection duration, and objective and subjective measures of tilt were obtained in three viewing conditions (binocular, and monocular with each eye). Each condition lasted 2 minutes.
Patients with glaucoma had longer vection latencies (p = 0.005) than, but the same vection duration as, age-matched controls. Viewing condition did not affect vection responses for either group. The control group estimated the tilt angle as being significantly larger than the actual maximum tilt angle measured with the tilt sensor (p = 0.038). There was no relationship between vection measures and visual field sensitivity for the glaucoma group.
These findings suggest that, despite an altered visual input that delays vection, the neural responses involved in canceling the illusion of self-motion remain intact in patients with mild peripheral visual field loss.
Vision Science Research Program, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (all authors); Centre for Vision Research, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (LT-N, MJS, EGG); and Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (SH, MJS, SNM, EGG).
Esther G. González Vision Science Research Program Toronto Western Research Institute 399 Bathurst St, FP 6-212 Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8 Canada e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org