Vol. 57, No.
Academy of Optometry
Printed in U.S.A.
Operant Conditioning of
Ranges using Random Dot
In Experiment 1, four 6- to 1 0-year-old strabismic patients, who had
failed to improve convergence ranges using traditional vision training
techniques, were given convergence training using random dot
stereograms (ROS). An integral part of the ROS training procedure
was the incorporation of an operant conditioning procedure providing
for response-contingent positive reinforcement, immediate feedback.
and preprogrammed systematic changes
during discrimination learning. Findings indicated that operant RDS
convergence training produced a significant increase in convergence
ranges which transferred readily to vectogram tasks and resulted in a
change from exotropia to exophoria for at least one patient. In
Experiment 2, it was shown that improved convergence ability was a
direct result of exposure to ROS of increasing convergence demand.
It was concluded that young, uncooperative, language-deficient, or
inattentive patients show improved convergence ranges when such
training incorporates proper stimuli and the basic principles of
learning and motivation into its training regimen.
Key Words: convergence, strabismus, operant conditioning, behavior
modification, random-dot stereograms, vision training, orthoptics,
children, exotropia, convergence insufficiency, fusion
Fusional convergence training is often
used in the treatment of such binocular
anomalies as convergence insufficiency, ex-
otropia, etc.1-3 A common type of training
involves the use of various convergence
stimuli presented at progressively greater
demands. Sometimes such training fails to
of Optometry, Boston, Massachusetts, De~
cember 12, 1978.
Received May 2, 1979; revision received October 17,
Optometrist, M.S., Member of Faculty, F.A.A.O.
Psychologist, Ph.D., Member of Faculty.
result in the remediation of the patientís
visual problem, particularly when the pa-
tient is young. The most probable reasons
for this failure relate to the nature of the
stimuli, the ability to generate valid and
reliable patient responses, and the specific
training procedure used.4í5
Typical vision training or orthoptic tasks
use line or contour stereograms. These
stimuli have few controls to determine if
the patientís response is a valid and reliable
indicator of what is actually perceived.
That is, it is often difficult to evaluate
whether a patientís verbal response to ques-
tions about blur, diplopia, suppressions,
of Optometry, State University of New York. New York, New