• Amblyopia masks the scale invariance of normal human vision.

      Levi, D.M.; Whitaker, David J.; Provost, A. (ARVO, 2009)
      In normal vision, detecting a kink (a change in orientation) in a line is scale invariant: it depends solely on the length/width ratio of the line (D. Whitaker, D. M. Levi, & G. J. Kennedy, 2008). Here we measure detection of a change in the orientation of lines of different length and blur and show that strabismic amblyopia is qualitatively different from normal foveal vision, in that: 1) stimulus blur has little effect on performance in the amblyopic eye, and 2) integration of orientation information follows a different rule. In normal foveal vision, performance improves in proportion to the square root of the ratio of line length to blur (L: B). In strabismic amblyopia improvement is proportional to line length. Our results are consistent with a substantial degree of internal neural blur in first-order cortical filters. This internal blur results in a loss of scale invariance in the amblyopic visual system. Peripheral vision also shows much less effect of stimulus blur and a failure of scale invariance, similar to the central vision of strabismic amblyopes. Our results suggest that both peripheral vision and strabismic amblyopia share a common bottleneck in having a truncated range of spatial mechanisms-a range that becomes more restricted with increasing eccentricity and depth of amblyopia.