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July 1985

Spatial Vision in Alzheimer's Disease: General Findings and a Case Report

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology (Drs Nissen and Corkin and Mr Bauer) and Clinical Research Center (Drs Nissen and Corkin), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Drs Buonanno, Growdon, and Wray). Dr Nissen is now with the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(7):667-671. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060070057015

• Visual contrast sensitivity to sinusoidal gratings of five spatial frequencies was measured in 15 patients with Alzheimer's disease and in eight control subjects. Contrast sensitivity thresholds were elevated at all frequencies in 14 patients compared with control subjects. The 15th patient was unique: she had an impairment in object and face recognition so severe that she could not recognize her husband visually. Her sensitivity to low and intermediate frequencies was markedly reduced in relation to that of other patients, whereas her sensitivity to the highest frequency tested equaled theirs. These observations emphasize the importance of low spatial frequency information for visual object and face recognition.

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