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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) have been the principal neuroimaging tools used to assess the site and nature of cortical deficits in human amblyopia. A review of this growing body of work is presented here with particular reference to various controversial issues, including whether or not the primary visual cortex is dysfunctional, the involvement of higher-order visual areas, neural differences between strabismic and anisometropic amblyopes, and the effects of modern-day drug treatments. We also present our own recent MEG work in which we used the analysis technique of synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM) to examine the effects of strabismic amblyopia on cortical function. Our results provide evidence that the neuronal assembly associated with form perception in the extrastriate cortex may be dysfunctional in amblyopia, and that the nature of this dysfunction may relate to a change in the normal temporal pattern of neuronal discharges. Based on these results and existing literature, we conclude that a number of cortical areas show reduced levels of activation in amblyopia, including primary and secondary visual areas and regions within the parieto-occipital cortex and ventral temporal cortex.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/09273970500538082

Type

Journal article

Journal

Strabismus

Publication Date

03/2006

Volume

14

Pages

21 - 35

Addresses

The Wellcome Trust Laboratory for MEG Studies, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK. s.j.anderson@aston.ac.uk

Keywords

Visual Cortex, Humans, Amblyopia, Positron-Emission Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetoencephalography, Reproducibility of Results