Spatial judgments in patients with retinitis pigmentosa

  • Walter Wittich, Jocelyn Faubert, Donald H. Watanabe, Michael A. Kapusta, Olga Overbury
  • Vision Research, January 2011, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.11.003

Does peripheral visual field loss distort how RP patients perceive space?

What is it about?

Perceptually, patients with central visual field loss often report distortions of visual space, which can be partially explained by perceptual filling-in. The mechanisms involved could also apply to peripheral field loss. Therefore, we studied spatial vision in 28 retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients and a control group. The data indicated that rrain laterality may be an important factor when examining changes in cortical function in response to peripheral system damage.

Why is it important?

Our findings indicate that, even though the ability to make spatial judgments seemed unaffected by peripheral vision loss, the way in which RP patients arrive at this performance level differs from normally sighted individuals; they execute the task with more variability.


Dr Walter Wittich
Universite de Montreal

This study was the central piece of my PhD work, and was the first experiment where I directly interacted with RP patients. I learned so much from these participants, about their visual challenges and their general outlook on life, giving me even more motivation to continue our research, and helping me to achieve my goal of eventually having become a university-based researcher.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Walter Wittich