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A new device to measure dynamic visual acuity: Data for athletes and non-athletes

1 May 2006


PURPOSE: DVA is a crucial asset in competitive dynamic sports where the playing environment is in constant flux and changes from moment to moment. Prior to the current study, most attempts to measure DVA in optometry required the subject's head to remain stationary while a moving target was presented. By using the recently developed invisionTM device (NeuroCom International) for this study, it is now possible to measure the vestibular and visual components of dynamic visual acuity. The purpose of this study was to obtain data for athletic subjects using the invisionTM device, and to determine whether athletes have superior dynamic visual acuity than non-athletic subjects.

METHODS: A total of 18 athletes (aged 18-42 years) from three different sports, ice hockey, baseball and basketball, participated in this study. The results for the athlete sample were compared against previously-acquired data for a sample of age-matched non-athletes. The invisionTM device which consists of a headborne accelerometer, a posturography platform, a desktop computer and monitor, was used to measure dynamic visual acuity (constant head velocity of 120 degrees per second with gradual stimulus size reduction), gaze stabilization (increasing head velocity with constant stimulus size), sensory interaction and balance (CTSIB), and limits of stability.

RESULTS: The combined left-right average head velocity during dynamic visual acuity testing differed (pc0.05) between the groups. Athletes were found to have a DVA speed of 156.0 degrees per second versus the non-athletic group's 125.1 degrees per second. The combined left-right average maximum head velocity during gaze stabilization was significant at the pc0.05 level, with the athletic subject group averaging 121.4 degrees per second versus 100.0 degrees per second attained by the non-athletic subject group.

CONCLUSION: The promising results of this study should invite further testing and investigation with the inVisionTM device in the athletic setting.


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