Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) A Window Into the Brain
Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) is the ability to discern areas of light and dark in the visual field from one another. The VCS test determines the least amount of contrast between light and dark bars that a viewer can discern for various spatial frequencies (close spacings). Average population VCS reference ranges have been established for comparison.
A significant amount of research has correlated diminished VCS with neurological toxicity. Visual function may be a sensitive indicator of toxic effects due to the lipid solubility of many toxins.
During the VCS testing process, the patient holds the device up to his/her chin to set the spacing to the test card, which is mounted at the far end. A quick check of Snellen acuity made to verify that the patient has proper focal correction (against blurring). The the patient reads and reports the random orientation of cells on the VCS' card's rows and columns one-by-one. The results are plotted on a record chart and compared to a reference range. The entire test usually takes less than 15 minutes
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