Spatial and temporal vision in patients treated for bilateral congenital cataracts

Vision Res. 1999 Oct;39(20):3480-9. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00078-4.


Using the method of limits, we measured spatial and temporal vision in 13 children who had been deprived of patterned visual input during infancy until they were treated for dense central cataracts in both eyes. Spatial vision was assessed with vertical sine-wave gratings, and temporal vision was assessed with an unpatterned luminance field sinusoidally modulated over time. Under these testing conditions, spatial contrast sensitivity at low and medium spatial frequencies (0.33-2 c deg-1) was within normal limits, but sensitivity at higher spatial frequencies and grating acuity were reduced on average by 1.3 and 0.5 log units, respectively. Temporal vision was affected less severely, with losses in sensitivity only for low temporal frequencies (5 and 10 Hz), which averaged 0.4 log units. Thus, spatial and temporal vision are likely mediated by different neural mechanisms, that are differentially affected by deprivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / physiopathology
  • Cataract / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Eye Injuries / physiopathology
  • Eye Injuries / psychology
  • Flicker Fusion
  • Humans
  • Sensory Deprivation*
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology
  • Visual Perception*