Spatial and temporal crowding in amblyopia

Yoram S. Bonneh, Dov Sagi, Uri Polat

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89 Scopus citations


Spatial crowding is a well-known deficit in amblyopia. We have previously reported evidence suggesting that the inability to isolate stimuli in space in crowded displays (spatial crowding) is a largely independent component of the amblyopic deficit in visual acuity, which is typically found in strabismic amblyopia [Bonneh, Y., Sagi, D., & Polat, U. (2004a). Local and non-local deficits in amblyopia: Acuity and spatial interactions. Vision Research, 44, 3009-3110]. Here, we extend this result to the temporal domain by measuring visual acuity (VA) for a single pattern in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP-VA, N = 15) for fast ("crowded") and slow ("uncrowded") presentations. We found that strabismic amblyopes but not anisometropic amblyopes or normal controls exhibited a significant difference between VA under the fast and slow conditions. We further compared the "temporal crowding" measure to two measures of spatial crowding: (1) static Tumbling-E acuity in multi-pattern crowded displays (N = 26) and (2) Gabor alignment with lateral flankers (N = 20). We found that all three measures of crowding (one temporal and two spatial) were highly correlated across subjects while being largely independent of the visual acuity for a single isolated pattern, with both spatial and temporal crowding being high and correlated in strabismus and low in anisometropia. This suggests that time and space are related in crowding, at least in amblyopia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1950-1962
Number of pages13
JournalVision Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel funded by The Charles E. Smith Family (Y.B.), the Israel Science Foundation (U.P.), and from the Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for Neurosciences (D.S.).


  • Amblyopia
  • Anisometropia
  • Crowding
  • Masking
  • Spatial-interactions
  • Strabismus
  • Temporal
  • Visual acuity


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