Age-related decline in function of ON and OFF visual pathways

Amithavikram R. Hathibelagal, Vishal Prajapati, Indrani Jayagopi, Subhadra Jalali, Shonraj Ballae Ganeshrao

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1 Citation (Scopus)


PURPOSE: A simple psychophysical paradigm is available as a digital application in iOS devices such as iPad to measure the function of ON and OFF visual pathways. However, an age-matched normative database is not readily available. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the response of ON and OFF visual pathways as a function of age. METHODS: 158 normal healthy adults (84 males and 74 females) whose age ranged 18-80 years participated in the study. None of them had any ocular disease (except cataract of grade II or less) and visual acuity of ≤ 20/25. Monocular testing (only one eye) was performed on the 'EyeSpeed' application on an iPad at 40cm distance. The targets ranged between 1 to 3 light or dark squares presented randomly in a noise background and participants responded by indicating the number of squares by touching the screen as fast as possible. The main outcome variables are reaction time, accuracy and performance index (1 / speed * accuracy). RESULTS: The median reaction time was shorter (Median (IQR): 1.53s (0.49) [dark] Vs 1.76s (0.58) [light], p < 0.001) and accuracy was higher (97.21% (3.30) [dark] Vs 95.15% (5.10) [light], p < 0.001) for dark targets than the light targets. Performance index and reaction time for both target types significantly correlated with age (ρ = -0.41 to -0.43; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This normative database will be useful to quantify disease-specific defects. More importantly, the ON pathway function can potentially serve as a surrogate for rod photoreceptor function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0261489
Pages (from-to)e0261489
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 03-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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