To investigate the perception of images of real-world scenes in patients with amblyopia and to compare their performance with that of visually normal participants by viewing conditions (monocular vs binocular) and by treatment outcomes (successfully vs unsuccessfully treated vs normal eyes).
Thirty-nine healthy and 26 amblyopic individuals who had undergone previous amblyopia treatment were recruited to perform a match-to-sample task that used images of real-world scenes. Rates of correct, incorrect, and no responses and mean reaction time were recorded.
Performance during monocular viewing showed that the mean correct response rate was 59% in the amblyopic eyes, 62% in the fellow eyes, and 67% in the normal eyes (P = .008). During binocular viewing, the correct response rate remained reduced at 58% in amblyopic patients compared with 68% in participants with normal vision (P = .03). Performance by treatment outcomes showed that the mean correct response rate was 59% in the unsuccessfully treated group, 64% in the successfully treated group, and 67% in the normal group (P = .002). There was no difference in performance among amblyopia subtypes.
Real-world scene perception is impaired in amblyopia, with the poorest performance during amblyopic monocular and binocular viewing. Despite successful treatment of the amblyopic eye to normal acuity levels, perception of images in real-world scenes remains deficient in patients with a history of amblyopia.