Identification and treatment of the visual processing asymmetry in MS patients with optic neuritis: The Pulfrich phenomenon

Millad J. Sobhanian, Rohit Agarwal, Ethan Meltzer, Eric Kildebeck, Benjamin S. Frohman, Ashley N. Frohman, Steven L. Galetta, Shiv Saidha, Owen White, Pablo Villoslada, Friedemann Paul, Axel Petzold, Robert L. Rennaker, Elena H. Martinez-Lapiscina, Laura J. Balcer, Randy Kardon, Elliot M. Frohman, Teresa C. Frohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The Pulfrich phenomenon (PF) is the illusory perception that an object moving linearly along a 2-D plane appears to instead follow an elliptical 3-D trajectory, a consequence of inter-eye asymmetry in the timing of visual object identification in the visual cortex; with optic neuritis as a common etiology. Objective: We have designed an objective method to identify the presence and magnitude of the PF, in conjunction with a cooresponding strategy by which to abolish the effect; with monocular application of neutral density filters to the less affected fellow eye, in patients with MS and a history of optic neuropathy (e.g. related to acute optic neuritis or subclinical optic neuropathy). Methods: Twenty-three MS patients with a history of acute unilateral or bilateral optic neuritis, and ten healthy control subjects (HC) were recruited to participate in a pilot study to assess our strategy. Subjects were asked to indicate whether a linearly moving pendulum ball followed a linear 2-D path versus an illusory 3-D elliptical object-motion trajectory, by reporting the ball's approximation to one of nine horizontally-oriented colored wires that were positioned parallel to one another and horizontal to the linear pendulum path. Perceived motion of the bob that moved along wires behind or in front (along the ‘Z' plane) of the middle reference wire indicated an illusory elliptical trajectory of ball motion consistent with the PF. Results: When the neutral density filter titration was applied to the fellow eye the severity of the PF decreased, eventually being fully abolished in all but one patient. The magnitude of neutral density filtering required correlated to the severity of the patient's initial PF magnitude (p < 0.001). Conclusions: We ascertained the magnitude of the visual illusion associated with the PF, and the corresponding magnitude of neutral density filtering necessary to abolish it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume387
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2018

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Optic Neuritis
Optic Nerve Diseases
Visual Cortex
Therapeutics
Healthy Volunteers

Keywords

  • Asymmetric visual transmission
  • Neutral density filter
  • Pulfrich phenomenon
  • Visual illusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Sobhanian, M. J., Agarwal, R., Meltzer, E., Kildebeck, E., Frohman, B. S., Frohman, A. N., ... Frohman, T. C. (2018). Identification and treatment of the visual processing asymmetry in MS patients with optic neuritis: The Pulfrich phenomenon. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 387, 60-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.029

Identification and treatment of the visual processing asymmetry in MS patients with optic neuritis : The Pulfrich phenomenon. / Sobhanian, Millad J.; Agarwal, Rohit; Meltzer, Ethan; Kildebeck, Eric; Frohman, Benjamin S.; Frohman, Ashley N.; Galetta, Steven L.; Saidha, Shiv; White, Owen; Villoslada, Pablo; Paul, Friedemann; Petzold, Axel; Rennaker, Robert L.; Martinez-Lapiscina, Elena H.; Balcer, Laura J.; Kardon, Randy; Frohman, Elliot M.; Frohman, Teresa C.

In: Journal of the Neurological Sciences, Vol. 387, 15.04.2018, p. 60-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sobhanian, MJ, Agarwal, R, Meltzer, E, Kildebeck, E, Frohman, BS, Frohman, AN, Galetta, SL, Saidha, S, White, O, Villoslada, P, Paul, F, Petzold, A, Rennaker, RL, Martinez-Lapiscina, EH, Balcer, LJ, Kardon, R, Frohman, EM & Frohman, TC 2018, 'Identification and treatment of the visual processing asymmetry in MS patients with optic neuritis: The Pulfrich phenomenon', Journal of the Neurological Sciences, vol. 387, pp. 60-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.029
Sobhanian, Millad J. ; Agarwal, Rohit ; Meltzer, Ethan ; Kildebeck, Eric ; Frohman, Benjamin S. ; Frohman, Ashley N. ; Galetta, Steven L. ; Saidha, Shiv ; White, Owen ; Villoslada, Pablo ; Paul, Friedemann ; Petzold, Axel ; Rennaker, Robert L. ; Martinez-Lapiscina, Elena H. ; Balcer, Laura J. ; Kardon, Randy ; Frohman, Elliot M. ; Frohman, Teresa C. / Identification and treatment of the visual processing asymmetry in MS patients with optic neuritis : The Pulfrich phenomenon. In: Journal of the Neurological Sciences. 2018 ; Vol. 387. pp. 60-69.
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abstract = "Background: The Pulfrich phenomenon (PF) is the illusory perception that an object moving linearly along a 2-D plane appears to instead follow an elliptical 3-D trajectory, a consequence of inter-eye asymmetry in the timing of visual object identification in the visual cortex; with optic neuritis as a common etiology. Objective: We have designed an objective method to identify the presence and magnitude of the PF, in conjunction with a cooresponding strategy by which to abolish the effect; with monocular application of neutral density filters to the less affected fellow eye, in patients with MS and a history of optic neuropathy (e.g. related to acute optic neuritis or subclinical optic neuropathy). Methods: Twenty-three MS patients with a history of acute unilateral or bilateral optic neuritis, and ten healthy control subjects (HC) were recruited to participate in a pilot study to assess our strategy. Subjects were asked to indicate whether a linearly moving pendulum ball followed a linear 2-D path versus an illusory 3-D elliptical object-motion trajectory, by reporting the ball's approximation to one of nine horizontally-oriented colored wires that were positioned parallel to one another and horizontal to the linear pendulum path. Perceived motion of the bob that moved along wires behind or in front (along the ‘Z' plane) of the middle reference wire indicated an illusory elliptical trajectory of ball motion consistent with the PF. Results: When the neutral density filter titration was applied to the fellow eye the severity of the PF decreased, eventually being fully abolished in all but one patient. The magnitude of neutral density filtering required correlated to the severity of the patient's initial PF magnitude (p < 0.001). Conclusions: We ascertained the magnitude of the visual illusion associated with the PF, and the corresponding magnitude of neutral density filtering necessary to abolish it.",
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AU - Sobhanian, Millad J.

AU - Agarwal, Rohit

AU - Meltzer, Ethan

AU - Kildebeck, Eric

AU - Frohman, Benjamin S.

AU - Frohman, Ashley N.

AU - Galetta, Steven L.

AU - Saidha, Shiv

AU - White, Owen

AU - Villoslada, Pablo

AU - Paul, Friedemann

AU - Petzold, Axel

AU - Rennaker, Robert L.

AU - Martinez-Lapiscina, Elena H.

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