Brain Topography

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 293–307 | Cite as

A Functional Neuroimaging Case Study of Meares–Irlen Syndrome/Visual Stress (MISViS)

  • Brea D. Chouinard
  • Crystal I. Zhou
  • Stanislau Hrybouski
  • Esther S. Kim
  • Jacqueline Cummine
Original Paper


The aim of this study is to evaluate the data from a participant in a reading study who had a diagnosis of Meares–Irlen syndrome/visual stress (MISViS). MISViS is characterised by visual distortions and somatic issues, which are remediated using coloured filters. The authors present a case study providing descriptive neurobiological comparisons of MISViS versus a control group. The study involved eleven English language speakers who participated in behavioural and neuroimaging versions of a language experiment with varied proportions of regular and exception words. Behavioural measures included accuracy and response times. Neuroimaging was conducted using a 1.5T Siemens Sonata MRI. The MISViS participant’s data were removed from the overall experiment and analysed as a case study. Impulse response functions (IRFs) and percentage of active voxels were extracted from four regions of interest: BAs 17, 18, 19, and the postcentral gyrus (PG) and two control regions (BA6 and left BA45). The results indicated that significant differences existed between the control group and the MISViS participant for IRF intensity in two regions (BA6 and PG) and percentage of active voxels in four regions (BA17, BA19, PG, and BA6). No significant differences occurred in left BA45 for either variable of interest. No significant differences were found for behavioural measures. In conclusion, our findings offer one of the first neurobiological descriptions of differences in IRF intensity and percentage of active voxels in visual and somatosensory cortex during a language experiment for a participant with MISViS in the absence of migraine compared to controls.


Meares–Irlen syndrome Visual stress Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Coloured filters Visual perceptual distortions 



The authors have no commercial interest in tinted lenses or related therapies for learning disabilities. The authors would like to thank all participants for their involvement in this study and two anonymous reviewers for their insight and guidance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brea D. Chouinard
    • 1
  • Crystal I. Zhou
    • 3
  • Stanislau Hrybouski
    • 2
  • Esther S. Kim
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Cummine
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for NeuroscienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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