Blind spot and visual field anisotropy detection with flicker pupil perimetry across brightness and task variations

Brendan L Portengen, Carlien Roelofzen, Giorgio L Porro, Saskia M Imhof, Alessio Fracasso, Marnix Naber

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The pupil can be used as an objective measure for testing sensitivities across the visual field (pupil perimetry; PP). The recently developed gaze-contingent flicker PP (gcFPP) is a promising novel form of PP, with improved sensitivity due to retinotopically stable and repeated flickering stimulations, in a short time span. As a diagnostic tool gcFPP has not yet been benchmarked in healthy individuals. The main aims of the current study were to investigate whether gcFPP has the sensitivity to detect the blind spot, and upper versus lower visual field differences that were found before in previous studies. An additional aim was to test for the effects of attentional requirements and background luminance. A total of thirty individuals were tested with gcFPP across two separate experiments. The results showed that pupil oscillation amplitudes were smaller for stimuli presented inside as compared to outside the blind spot. Amplitudes also decreased as a function of eccentricity (i.e., distance to fixation) and were larger for upper as compared to lower visual fields. We measured the strongest and most sensitive pupil responses to stimuli presented on dark- and mid-gray backgrounds, and when observers covertly focused their attention to the flickering stimulus. GcFPP thus evokes pupil responses that are sensitive enough to detect local, and global differences in pupil sensitivity. The findings further encourage (1) the use of a gray background to prevent straylight without affecting gcFPPs sensitivity and (2) the use of an attention task to enhance pupil sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2020


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