Spatial localization in visual impairment

Ahalya Subramanian, Christine Dickinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    PURPOSE. To investigate self-reported difficulties experienced by visually impaired subjects in real-world tasks requiring judgment of space and distance and to determine whether laboratory measures of spatial localization predict self-reported difficulty with spatial tasks better than traditional measures of visual function, such as visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. METHODS. Forty-two subjects with visual impairment participated. The Spatial Localization Questionnaire (SLQ) was developed to investigate self-reported spatial localization difficulties, and subjects answered the questionnaire as part of the study. Subjects also completed a variety of clinical vision tests (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, stereo acuity, and reading speed) and laboratory vision tests (vernier acuity, bisection acuity, and visual direction). RESULTS. The SLQ was found to have good validity. Several significant correlations were found between the Rasch analysis ability scores for the questionnaire and the clinical and laboratory vision tests. Using stepwise regression analysis, we found that vernier acuity and contrast sensitivity accounted for 42% of the variance in the Rasch scores (P <0.001). CONCLUSIONS. The findings indicate that certain subjects with visual impairment have difficulty with real-world spatial tasks, as indicated by the SLQ. Of note, these difficulties were better predicted by vernier acuity (a resolution test) and contrast sensitivity, rather than vernier or bisection bias, which measure localization. Copyright © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-85
    Number of pages7
    JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


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