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    Die Hector Fellow Academy stößt innovative Forschungsprojekte in neuen wissenschaftlichen Fragestellungen an.

Accommodation Behavior and Ciliary Muscle Activity in Myopia

Sandra Wagner – Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner

Prevalence of myopia (shortsightedness) increases considerably in industrialized countries. The mechanisms behind this development need to be fully understood in order to arrive at prevention. A well-founded hypothesis for myopia development is based on the underaccommodation during near-vision activities (lag of accommodation) which could trigger axial eye elongation (see Figure). A previous study analyzing the trainability of the accommodative accuracy revealed that the accommodative lag can be reduced using auditory biofeedback at least in a subgroup of young adults with myopia.

This PhD project, supervised by Hector Fellow Eberhart Zrenner, aims to combine the previous work with a newly developed device to non-invasively measure the electrical potentials of the ciliary muscle, which is responsible for changing the shape of the eye lens during accommodation. The goal is to evaluate (i) whether the lag of accommodation in myopic subjects can be verified via the potentials of the ciliary muscle and (ii) whether the accommodative accuracy can be improved by providing auditory biofeedback of the ciliary muscle activity. Further research regarding the validity of measurements will be undertaken by correlating results of imaging techniques with electrical responses from the ciliary muscle.

Findings derived from this project are expected to allow a better understanding of accommodation and to lead to new myopia control strategies and the development of new devices.

Due to under-accommodation during near vision (lag of accommodation), the plane of best
focus is placed behind the retina. In children and young adults, this could trigger eye growth
with the aim to better “catch” the focus, which leads to myopia.