February 25, 2021

Exercise does not enhance short-term deprivation-induced ocular dominance plasticity: evidence from dichoptic surround suppression

The input from the two eyes is combined in the brain. In this combination, the relative strength of the input from each eye is determined by the ocular dominance. Recent work has shown that this dominance can be temporarily shifted. Covering one eye with an eye patch for a few hours makes its contribution stronger. It has been proposed that this shift can be enhanced by exercise. Here, we test this hypothesis using a dichoptic surround suppression task, and with exercise performed according to American College of Sport Medicine guidelines. We measured detection thresholds for patches of sinusoidal grating shown to one eye. When an annular mask grating was shown simultaneously to the other eye, thresholds were elevated. The difference in the elevation found in each eye is our measure of relative eye dominance. We made these measurements before and after 120 minutes of monocular deprivation (with an eye patch). In the control condition, subjects rested during this time. For the exercise condition, 30 minutes of exercise were performed at the beginning of the patching period. This was followed by 90 minutes of rest. We find that patching results in a shift in ocular dominance that can be measured using dichoptic surround suppression. However, we find no effect of exercise on the magnitude of this shift. We further performed a meta-analysis on the four studies that have examined the effects of exercise on the dominance shift. Looking across these studies, we find no evidence for such an effect.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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