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Sensory Eye Dominance: Relationship Between Eye and Brain

Authors Ooi TL, He ZJ

Received 1 September 2019

Accepted for publication 28 December 2019

Published 20 January 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 25—31


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Margaret Wong-Riley

Teng Leng Ooi, 1 Zijiang J He 2

1College of Optometry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 2Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

Correspondence: Teng Leng Ooi
College of Optometry, The Ohio State University, 338 West 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Tel +1 614 292 1384
Fax +1 614 292 7493

Abstract: Eye dominance refers to the preference to use one eye more than the fellow eye to accomplish a task. However, the dominant eye revealed can be task dependent especially when the tasks are as diverse as instructing the observer to sight a target through a ring, or to report which half-image is perceived more of during binocular rivalry stimulation. Conventionally, the former task is said to reveal motor eye dominance while the latter task reveals sensory eye dominance. While the consensus is that the motor and sensory-dominant eye could be different in some observers, the reason for it is still unclear and has not been much researched. This review mainly focuses on advances made in recent studies of sensory eye dominance. It reviews studies conducted to quantify and relate sensory eye dominance to other visual functions, in particular to stereopsis, as well as studies conducted to explore its plasticity. It is recognized that sensory eye dominance in observers with clinically normal vision shares some similarity with amblyopia at least at the behavioral level, in that both exhibit an imbalance of interocular inhibition. Furthermore, sensory eye dominance is probably manifested at multiple sites along the visual pathway, perhaps including the level of ocular dominance columns. But future studies with high-resolution brain imaging approaches are required to confirm this speculation in the human visual system.

Keywords: amblyopia, binocular combination, binocular rivalry, excitatory-inhibitory balance, plasticity, stereopsis

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