Mehmet N. Ağaoğlu; Susana T. L. Chung

Exploration of the functional consequences of fixational eye movements in the absence of a fovea

publication date
February 2020
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A recent theory posits that ocular drifts of fixational eye movements serve to reformat the visual input of natural images, so that the power of the input image is equalized across a range of spatial frequencies. This “spectral whitening” effect is postulated to improve the processing of high-spatial-frequency information and requires normal fixational eye movements. Given that people with macular disease exhibit abnormal fixational eye movements, do they also exhibit spectral whitening? To answer this question, we computed the power spectral density of movies of natural images translated in space and time according to the fixational eye movements (thus simulating the retinal input) of a group of observers with long-standing bilateral macular disease. Just as for people with normal vision, the power of the retinal input at low spatial frequencies was lower than that based on the 1/f2 relationship, demonstrating spectral whitening. However, the amount of whitening was much less for observers with macular disease when compared with age-matched controls with normal vision. A mediation analysis showed that the eccentricity of the preferred retinal locus adopted by these observers and the characteristics of ocular drifts are important factors limiting the amount of whitening. Finally, we did not find a normal aging effect on spectral whitening. Although these findings alone cannot form a causal link between macular disease and spectral properties of eye movements, they suggest novel potential means of modifying the characteristics of fixational eye movements, which may in turn improve functional vision for people with macular disease.


Despite their abnormal characteristics, fixational eye movements exhibited by people with macular disease also demonstrate spectral whitening, although the magnitude of whitening is less (and is limited to lower spatial frequencies) than that observed in people with normal vision. The less-than-normal whitening should not be interpreted as indicating that the benefits of fixational eye movements, especially those due to ocular drifts, are smaller for people with macular disease. Rather, it just means that spectral whitening occurs for a range of spatial frequencies lower than that for normal vision, which is reasonable given that people with macular disease must rely on their peripheral retina for vision. Using a mediation analysis, we found that the eccentricity of the PRL adopted by these observers and the diffusion constant of ocular drifts are the important factors limiting the amount of whitening. These findings offer novel potential means of improving the characteristics of fixational eye movements, which may, in turn, improve functional vision for people with macular disease. Finally, we did not find a normal aging effect on spectral whitening.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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