The aims of this study were to analyze the relationship between the performance on fine motor skills tasks and peripheral and bifoveal sensory fusion, phasic and tonic motor fusion, the level of visual acuity (VA) in the poorer seeing eye, and the interocular VA difference.
Subjects aged 12 to 28 years with a range of levels of binocular vision and VA performed three tasks: Purdue pegboard (number of pegs placed in 30 s), bead threading task (with two sizes of bead to increase the difficulty, time taken to thread a fixed number of beads),and a water pouring task (accuracy and time to pour a fixed quantity into five glass cylinders). Ophthalmic measures included peripheral (Worth 4 dot) and bifoveal (4 prism diopter) sensory fusion, phasic (prism bar) and tonic (Risley rotary prism) motor fusion ranges, and monocular VA.
One hundred twenty-one subjects with a mean age of 18.8 years were tested; 18.2% had a manifest strabismus. Performance on fine motor skills tasks was significantly better in subjects with sensory and motor fusion compared with those without for most tasks, with significant differences between those with and without all measures of fusion on the pegboard and bead task. Both the acuity in the poorer seeing eye (highest r value of all motor tasks = 0.43) and the interocular acuity difference were statistically significantly related to performance on the motor skill tasks.
Both sensory and motor fusion and good VA in both eyes are of benefit in the performance of fine motor skills tasks, with the presence of some binocular vision being beneficial compared with no fusion on certain sensorimotor tasks. This evidence supports the need to maximize fusion and VA outcomes.