A new form of rapid binocular plasticity in adult with amblyopia

Sci Rep. 2013;3:2638. doi: 10.1038/srep02638.


Amblyopia is a neurological disorder of binocular vision affecting up to 3% of the population resulting from a disrupted period of early visual development. Recently, it has been shown that vision can be partially restored by intensive monocular or dichoptic training (4-6 weeks). This can occur even in adults owing to a residual degree of brain plasticity initiated by repetitive and successive sensory stimulation. Here we show that the binocular imbalance that characterizes amblyopia can be reduced by occluding the amblyopic eye with a translucent patch for as little as 2.5 hours, suggesting a degree of rapid binocular plasticity in adults resulting from a lack of sensory stimulation. The integrated binocular benefit is larger in our amblyopic group than in our normal control group. We propose that this rapid improvement in function, as a result of reduced sensory stimulation, represents a new form of plasticity operating at a binocular site.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amblyopia / physiopathology*
  • Amblyopia / therapy
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Vision, Binocular*
  • Young Adult