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Contrast thresholds and fixation disparity during 5-Hz sinusoidal single- and dual-axis (vertical and lateral) whole-body vibration

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The present study assumed that whole-body vibration, transmitted through the seat, impairs spatial retinal resolution and oculomotor alignment parallel to the vibration axis. More specifically, that the decrement increases gradually from single-axis lateral via single-axis vertical and dual-axis linear to dual-axis circular motion. Twenty participants (19-26 years of age) with good vision volunteered for the experiment where in three sessions one of the following three conditions, contrast threshold, nonius bias or fixation disparity, for vertically and horizontally oriented test patterns was determined during five experimental conditions. The latter comprised a control (az=ay=0) and four conditions where 5-Hz sinusoidal motion of 1.2 ms-2 rms were applied separately, either in the vertical or in the lateral direction, or simultaneously in both directions, once without and once with a phase shift of 90, thus causing dual-axis linear or circular motion. Contrast thresholds for horizontal gratings and the variability of vertical fixation disparity increased significantly whenever the participants were exposed to vertical motion (alone or combined with lateral motion). These effects may result in an increased difficulty in properly recognizing characters and graphic patterns containing horizontal lines and in the development of asthenopic complaints.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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