Mapping the Contrast Sensitivity of the Visual Field With Bayesian Adaptive qVFM

Pengjing Xu, Luis A. Lesmes, Deyue Yu, Zhong Lin Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Current clinical evaluation, which focuses on central vision, could be improved through characterization of residual vision with peripheral testing of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, color vision, crowding, and reading speed. Assessing visual functions in addition to light sensitivity, a comprehensive visual field map (VFM) would be valuable for detecting and managing eye diseases. In a previous study, we developed a Bayesian adaptive qVFM method that combines a global module for preliminary assessment of the VFM's shape and a local module for assessment at individual retinal locations. The method was validated in measuring the light sensitivity VFM. In this study, we extended the qVFM method to measure contrast sensitivity across the visual field. In both simulations and psychophysics, we sampled 64 visual field locations (48 x 48 deg) and compared the qVFM method with a procedure that tested each retinal location independently (qFC; Lesmes et al., 2015). In each trial, subjects were required to identify a single optotype (size: 2.5 x 2.5 deg), one of 10 filtered Sloan letters. To compare the accuracy and precision of the two methods, three simulated eyes were tested in 1,280 trials with each method. In addition, data were collected from 10 eyes (5 OS, 5 OD) of five normal observers. For simulations, the average RMSE of the estimated contrast sensitivity with the qVFM and qFC methods were 0.057 and 0.100 after 320 trials, and 0.037 and 0.041 after 1,280 trials [all in log10 units, represent as log(sensitivity)], respectively. The average SD of the qVFM and qFC estimates were 0.054 and 0.096 after 320 trials, and 0.032 and 0.041 after 1,280 trials, respectively. The within-run variability (68.2% HWCIs) were comparable to the cross-run variability (SD). In the psychophysics experiment, the average HWCI of the estimated contrast sensitivity from the qVFM and qFC methods across the visual field decreased from 0.33 on the first trial to 0.072 and 0.16 after 160, and to 0.060 and 0.10 after 320 trials. The RMSE between the qVFM and qFC estimates started at 0.26, decreased to 0.12 after 160 and to 0.11 after 320 qVFM trials. The qVFM provides an accurate, precise, and efficient mapping of contrast sensitivity across the entire visual field. The method might find potential clinical applications in monitoring vision loss, evaluating therapeutic interventions, and developing effective rehabilitation for visual diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number665
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian adaptive testing
  • Sloan letters
  • active learning
  • automated perimetry
  • contrast sensitivity
  • peripheral vision
  • visual-filed map


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