Scientific Reports (2021-04-01)

Reduced evoked activity and cortical oscillations are correlated with anisometric amblyopia and impairment of visual acuity

  • Hanna Julku,
  • Santeri Rouhinen,
  • Henri J. Huttunen,
  • Laura Lindberg,
  • Johanna Liinamaa,
  • Ville Saarela,
  • Elina Karvonen,
  • Sigrid Booms,
  • Jyrki P. Mäkelä,
  • Hannu Uusitalo,
  • Eero Castrén,
  • J. Matias Palva,
  • Satu Palva

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. 1 – 15


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Abstract Amblyopia is a developmental disorder associated with abnormal visual experience during early childhood commonly arising from strabismus and/or anisometropia and leading to dysfunctions in visual cortex and to various visual deficits. The different forms of neuronal activity that are attenuated in amblyopia have been only partially characterized. In electrophysiological recordings of healthy human brain, the presentation of visual stimuli is associated with event-related activity and oscillatory responses. It has remained poorly understood whether these forms of activity are reduced in amblyopia and whether possible dysfunctions would arise from lower- or higher-order visual areas. We recorded neuronal activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) from anisometropic amblyopic patients and control participants during two visual tasks presented separately for each eye and estimated neuronal activity from source-reconstructed MEG data. We investigated whether event-related and oscillatory responses would be reduced for amblyopia and localized their cortical sources. Oscillation amplitudes and evoked responses were reduced for stimuli presented to the amblyopic eye in higher-order visual areas and in parietal and prefrontal cortices. Importantly, the reduction of oscillation amplitudes but not that of evoked responses was correlated with decreased visual acuity in amblyopia. These results show that attenuated oscillatory responses are correlated with visual deficits in anisometric amblyopia.