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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

References

  1. Allen PM, Gilchrist JM, Hollis J (2008) Use of visual search in the assessment of pattern-related visual stress (PRVS) and its alleviation by colored filters. Investig Ophthalmol Vis Sci 49(9):4210–4218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen PM, Hussain A, Usherwood C, Wilkins AJ (2010) Pattern-related visual stress, chromaticity, and accommodation. Investig Ophthalmol Vis Sci 51(12):6843–6849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balota DA, Yap MJ, Cortese MJ, Hutchison KA, Kessler B, Loftis B et al (2007) The English lexicon project. Behav Res Methods 39:445–459PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaskey P, Scheiman M, Parisi M, Ciner EB, Gallaway M, Selznick R (1990) The effectiveness of Irlen filters for improving reading performance: a pilot study. J Learn Disabil 23(10):604–612PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borowsky R, Cummine J, Owen WJ, Friesen CK, Shih F, Sarty G (2006) fMRI of ventral and dorsal processing streams in basic reading processes: insular sensitivity to phonology. Brain Topogr 18:233–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borsting E, Ridder WH III, Dudeck K, Kelley C, Matsui L, Motoyama J (1995) The presence of a magnocellular defect depends on the type of dyslexia. Vis Res 36(7):1047–1053CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouldoukian J, Wilkins AJ, Evans BJW (2002) Randomised controlled trial of the effect of coloured overlays on the rate of reading of people with specific learning difficulties. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 22:55–60PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chase C, Ashourzadeh A, Kelly C, Monfette S, Kinsey K (2003) Can the magnocellular pathway read? Evidence from studies of color. Vis Res 43:1211–1222PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conlon EG, Lovegrove WJ, Chekaluk E, Pattison PE (1999) Measuring visual discomfort. Vis Cogn 6(6):637–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conlon EG, Sanders MA, Wright CM (2009) Relationships between global motion and global form processing, practice, cognitive and visual processing in adults with dyslexia or visual discomfort. Neuropsychologia 47:907–915PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cotton MM, Evans KM (1990) An evaluation of the Irlen lenses as a treatment for specific reading disorders. Aust J Psychol 42(1):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox RW (1996) AFNI: software for analysis and visualization of functional magnetic resonance neuroimages. Comput Biomed Res 29:162–173. [AFNI 3-D anatomical brain http://afni.nimh.nih.gov/old/afni/astrip+orig.HEAD (and BRIK)]
  13. Evans BJW, Drasdo N (1991) Tinted lenses and related therapies for learning disabilities—a review. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 11:206–217PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Evans BJW, Cook A, Richards IL, Drasdo N (1994) Effect of pattern glare and colored overlays on a simulated-reading task in dyslexics and normal readers. Optom Vis Sci 71(10):619–628PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evans BJW, Busby A, Jeanes R, Wilkins AJ (1995) Optometric correlates of Meares–Irlen syndrome: a matched group study. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 15(5):481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Evans BJW, Wilkins AJ, Brown J, Busby A, Wingfield A, Jeanes R, Bald J (1996) A preliminary investigation into the aetiology of Meares–Irlen syndrome. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 16(4):286–296PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gole A, Dibden SN, Pearson (1989) Tinted lenses & dyslexics—a controlled study. Aust NZ J Ophthalmol 17(2):137–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hino Y, Lupker SJ (1998) The effects of word frequency for Japanese Kana and Kanji words in naming and lexical decision: can the dual-route model save the lexical-selection account? J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 24:1431–1453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hino Y, Lupker SJ (2000) Effects of word frequency and spelling-to-sound regularity in naming with and without preceding lexical decision. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 26:166–183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hollis J, Allen PM (2006) Screening for Meares–Irlen sensitivity in adults: can assessment methods predict changes in reading speed? Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 26:566–571PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hollis J, Allen PM, Fleischmann D, Aulak R (2007) Personality dimensions of people who suffer from visual stress. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 27:603–610PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huang J, Cooper TG, Satana B, Kaufman DI, Cao Y (2003) Visual distortion provoked by a stimulus in migraine associated with hyperneuronal activity. Headache 43:664–671PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huang J, Zong X, Wilkins A, Jenkins B, Bozoki A, Cao Y (2011) fMRI evidence that precision ophthalmic tints reduce cortical hyperactivation in migraine. Cephalagia 31:925–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hubel DH (1995) Eye, brain, and vision. Scientific American Library, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Irlen H (1983) Successful Treatment of Learning Disabilities. In: Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, AnaheimGoogle Scholar
  26. Irlen H (1998) Irlen method & reading problems. Retrieved 15 June 2011, from Irlen Institute Web site http://irlen.com/index.php?id=145
  27. Irlen H (1999) Irlen reading perceptual scale, revised. Perceptual Development Corporation, Long BeachGoogle Scholar
  28. Irlen H (2010) The Irlen revolution: how a simple method can change the lives of children and adults with LD, AD/HD, TBI, dyslexia, autism, headaches, medical conditions, and much more. Square One Publishers, Garden City ParkGoogle Scholar
  29. Jeanes R, Busby A, Martin J, Lewis E, Stevenson N, Pointon D, Wilkins A (1997) Prolonged use of coloured overlays for classroom reading. Br J Psychol 88:531–548PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Keen AG, Lovegrove WJ (2000) Transient deficit hypothesis and dyslexia: examination of whole-parts relationship, retinal sensitivity, and spatial and temporal frequencies. Vis Res 40:705–715PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kriss I, Evans BJW (2005) The relationship between dyslexia and Meares–Irlen syndrome. J Res Read 28(3):350–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kruk R, Sumbler K, Willows D (2008) Visual processing characteristics of children with Meares–Irlen syndrome. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 28:35–46PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lightstone A, Lightstone T, Wilkins A (1999) Both coloured overlays and coloured lenses can improve reading fluency, but their optimal chromaticities differ. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 19(4):279–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meares O (1980) Figure/ground brightness contrast, and reading disabilities. Visible Lang 14:13–29Google Scholar
  35. Nandakumar K, Leat SJ (2008) Dyslexia: a review of two theories. Clin Exp Optom 91(4):333–340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Riddell PM, Wilkins A, Hainline L (2006) The effect of colored lenses on the visual evoked response in children with visual stress. Optom Vis Sci 83(5):299–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Robinson GL, Foreman PJ (1999) Scotopic sensitivity/Irlen syndrome and the use of coloured filters: a long-term placebo-controlled study of reading strategies using analysis of miscue. Percept Motor Skill 88:35–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Scott L, McWhinnie H, Taylor L, Stevenson N, Irons P, Lewis E, Evans M, Evans B, Wilkins A (2002) Coloured overlays in schools: orthoptic and optometric findings. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 22:156–165PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Simmers AJ, Bex PJ, Smith FKH, Wilkins A (2001) Spatiotemporal visual function in tinted lens wearers. Investig Ophthalmol Vis Sci 42(3):879–884Google Scholar
  40. Stein J (2003) Visual motion sensitivity and reading. Neuropsychologia 41:1785–1793PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stein J, Walsh V (1997) To see but not to read; the magnocellular theory of dyslexia. Trends NeuroSci 20(4):147–152PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tyrrell R, Holland K, Dennis D, Wilkins A (1995) Coloured overlays, visual discomfort, visual search and classroom reading. J Res Read 18(1):10–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. White S, Milne E, Rosen S, Hansen P, Swettenham J, Frith U, Ramus F (2006) The role of sensorimotor impairments in dyslexia: a multiple case study of dyslexic children. Dev Sci 9(3):237–269PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilkins A (1993) Reading and visual discomfort. In: Willows EM, Kruk RS, Corcos E (eds) Visual processes in reading and reading disabilities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, pp 435–456Google Scholar
  45. Wilkins A (1994) Overlays for classroom and optometric use. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 14:97–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wilkins A (1995) Visual stress. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wilkins A (2003) Reading through colour: how coloured filters can reduce reading difficulty, eye strain and headaches. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  48. Wilkins AJ, Evans BJW (2001, 2010) Pattern glare test instructions. I.O.O. Sales Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  49. Wilkins A, Lewis E (1999) Coloured overlays, text, and texture. Perception 28:641–650PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wilkins AJ, Neary C (1991) Some visual, optometric and perceptual effects of coloured glasses. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 11:163–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wilkins AJ, Nimmo-Smith MI (1987) The clarity and comfort of printed text. Ergonomics 30(12):1705–1720PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wilkins A, Nimmo-Smith I, Tait A, McManus C, Sala SD, Tilley A, Arnold K, Barrie M, Scott S (1984) A neurological basis for visual discomfort. Brain 107:989–1017PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wilkins A, Milroy R, Nimmo-Smith I, Wright A, Tyrrell R, Holland K, Martin J, Bald J, Yale S, Miles T, Noakes T (1992a) Preliminary observations concerning treatment of visual discomfort and associated perceptual distortion. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 12:257–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wilkins AJ, Nimmo-Smith I, Jansons JE (1992b) Colorimeter for the intuitive manipulation of hue and saturation and its role in the study of perceptual distortion. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 12:381–385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wilkins AJ, Evans BJW, Brown JA, Busby AE, Wingfield AE, Jeanes RJ, Bald J (1994) Double-masked placebo-controlled trial of precision spectral filters in children who use coloured overlays. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 14:365–370PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wilkins AJ, Jeanes RJ, Pumfrey PD, Laskier M (1996) Rate of reading test®: its reliability, and its validity in the assessment of the effects of coloured overlays. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 16(6):491–497PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wilkins AJ, Lewis E, Smith F, Rowland E, Tweedie W (2001) Coloured overlays and their benefit for reading. J Res Read 24(1):41–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wilkins A, Huang J, Cao Y (2004) Visual stress theory and its application to reading and reading tests. J Res Read 27(2):152–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wilkins AJ, Sihra N, Myers A (2005) Increasing reading speed by using colours: issues concerning reliability and specificity and their theoretical and practical implications. Perception 34:109–120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wilkins A, Huang J, Cao Y (2007) Prevention of Visual stress and migraine with precision spectral filters. Drug Dev Res 68:469–475PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xiao Y, Wang Y, Felleman DJ (2003) A spatially organized representation of colour in macaque cortical area V2. Nature 421:535–539PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations