Title: Effects of Pure Vergence Training on Initiation and Binocular Coordination of Saccades
Paper: Morize et al., 2017, IOVS
Purpose: We hypothesized that saccade eye movement properties, particularly latency and binocular coordination, depend on vergence quality.
Methods: We studied 11 students clinically diagnosed for vergence disorders versus 8 healthy controls. Rehabilitation of vergence disorders was done with a novel research-based method, using vergence in midsagittal plane. Vergence and saccades were recorded in separate blocks, before and after five weekly rehabilitation sessions.
Results: Healthy controls showed higher accuracy and velocity of convergence and divergence relative to the vergence disorders group; then rehabilitation led to significant decrease of latency and increase of gain and peak velocity of vergence. Before rehabilitation of the vergence disorders, saccade parameters did not differ significantly from healthy controls, except the binocular coordination that was significantly deteriorated. Following vergence rehabilitation, saccade properties improved: The latency decreased significantly, the gain increased particularly at far, and the binocular coordination improved significantly. Latency and accuracy improved in a durable way, with values even better than the range of accuracy measured in healthy controls; binocular coordination of saccades, although improved, did not normalize. In healthy controls, binocular coordination was optimal at 40 cm (working distance), and the vergence disorders group showed improvement at 40 cm. Results confirm the hypothesis, which is further corroborated by the correlation between vergence and saccade latency.
Conclusions: Results are in line with the hypothesis of permanent interaction between saccades and vergence, even when the task requires only saccades. Relevance of such interaction is emphasized by improvements of binocular saccades through the novel research-based method of vergence rehabilitation.