SUNY Researchers Conduct Light Deprivation Study

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Dr. Ben Backus, left, and research technician Morgan Williams underwent five days of light deprivation in 2012 to test the feasibility of the study.

Dr. Ben Backus, left, and research technician Morgan Williams underwent five days of light deprivation in 2012 to test the feasibility of the study.

Dr. Ben Backus, Associate Professor at the State University of New York College of Optometry, is the principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health-funded study exploring whether light deprivation could be an effective treatment for amblyopia in adults. Subjects will live in complete darkness for 10 days in a specially equipped apartment and then undergo binocular vision training. If the approach is successful in amblyopia, it may also have potential as a therapy for other conditions that might be improved if the brain can be made more plastic.