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What is the Automated Functional Field Tester

Visual field measurements are not always static and kinetic (movement)

visual field assessments can help with assessing for progression of a vision therapy/rehabilitation and/or optometric phototherapy program! 

The Auto FCFTester is an objective measure of the kinetic visual field with subjective input from the patient. This method of visual field assessment does not look for standard visual field loss (e.g., homonymous hemianopsia in stroke patients), but rather the visual projection of the patient. By utilizing color isopters and targets of varying size (i.e., 2- and 3-degree target sizes), this measurement addresses both central and peripheral visual processing streams. The appreciation of movement (e.g., motion processing in the periphery) is different than color recognition (i.e., central processing of “the what” stream) and both are being simultaneously assessed. Many factors go into this measurement such as reaction time, recognition, fixation ability, motion processing, and more. 

In addition, according to non-published clinical data presented at the College of Syntonic Optometry, it has been noted that this visual field test helps identify visual projection of the right and left eyes into visual space. When assessing the size of the blind spot in comparison to the visual field, it can be noted that some patients with enlarged blind spots and compressed visual field experience decrease spatial awareness. For example, if an object is 10-feet away and the results previously mentioned are found, patients may under-project into visual space and identify the target as less than 10-feet (e.g., 6-feet away from their eye). 

This is a helpful test to monitor the spatial awareness of a patient, and assess if they are projecting more accurately into space. Dr. Nichols has produced preliminary data of normative trends seen in healthy adult patients, but he and his research team (Optometric Phototherapy Investigator Team) are working with Ohio State University to create normative data and reproducible test results from clinic to clinic. Their hope to open up the research and investigate the visual field measurements in various population bases, included but not limited to, pediatric, traumatic brain injury, etc. 

1. Nichols A, Schulman R, Curtis S, Stern C, et al. Automated Functional Color Field Tester (FCFTester) Trends and Reproducibility – A Multicenter Pilot Study. Vision Development & Rehabilitation. 2021;7(4):293-301. 

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