Authors
Nguyen, Tammy; Stark, Lawrence R.

Surround Propinquity and Tonic Accommodation

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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose 

Previous studies of dark focus have found evidence of a propinquity response, in which subjects accommodate to the perceived distance of their surroundings despite being in absolute darkness. Their distance perception in a lighted room allows a spatial representation to persist within the darkened room. This study sought to establish the significance and magnitude of the propinquity response in a large sample of young adults, and to determine whether the propinquity response can be predicted by a subject’s initial dark focus in an unknown dark room.

Methods 

Dark focus was measured with a dynamic infrared optometer (Plusoptix PowerRef 3) in 30 young adult subjects, 26 of whom were naive to the testing room and its dimensions. Dark focus was then measured at varying dioptric wall distances of 0.25–4D. The subject viewed the lighted room before each measurement. For each individual, the dark focus was plotted as a function of dioptric wall distance. The slope of this function was used as a measure of the propinquity response.


Conclusion/Results

Results

The mean initial dark focus value was 1.05D (SD 1.04D) for the 26 naive subjects. The mean slope of the plot of dark focus as a function of dioptric wall distance was small (+0.097), yet highly statistically significant (P = .0002). The propinquity response function showed no statistically significant quadratic or cubic trends, and so may be considered linear. No statistically significant correlation was found between naive dark focus and propinquity response (r = +0.246, P = .226).

Conclusions 

Propinquity seems to be a small but statistically significant factor in dark focus measurements. Though it is unlikely to contaminate tonic accommodation measurements in large samples under normal laboratory conditions, a minority of individuals exhibit large propinquity responses equal to that of proximal accommodation in lighted conditions.


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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!!


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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.


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