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In a thought provoking editorial in the BJO, Hoyt raised two very important issues relating to the treatment of human amblyopia.1 Firstly, there is currently no effective alternative to occlusion therapy for treating amblyopia. Secondly, there is considerable “slippage” of visual acuity after cessation of occlusion therapy. Our sole purpose in responding to this editorial is to draw attention to some very recent work, showing significant long term improvements in visual performance in the adult amblyopic eye that, potentially, could be adapted for use as an effective alternative to occlusion therapy.
Visual perceptual learning—improved visual performance on a given psychophysical task after extensive training—is a well established phenomenon in the normal visual system.2 This form of learning is often tightly coupled to stimulus characteristics encoded early in …