The effects of yoked prisms on body posture and egocentric perception in a normal population

  • Vassilis Kokotas

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


The principal theme of this thesis is the effect of yoked prisms on body posture and egocentric perception. Yoked prisms have been clinically used in the management of a variety of visual and neuro-motor dysfunctions. Most studies have been conducted in pathological populations by studying the effects of prismatic adaptation, without distinguishing short and long term effects. In this study, postural and perceptual prismatic effects have been studied by preventing prism adaptation. A healthy population was selected in order to investigate the immediate prismatic effects, when there is no obvious benefit from their use for the individual.
Posturography was used to assess changes in weight distribution and shifts in centre of pressure (barycentre). In addition, photographic analyses were used to assess effects on posture on the x and z axis. Experiments with space board and visual midline shift were used for the evaluation of spatial perception and egocentric localisation. One pair of 8 Δ yoked prisms base left (BL) and one pair of 8 Δ yoked prisms base up (BU) were applied randomly and compared to a pair of plano lenses.
Results suggest that immediate prismatic effects take place on a perceptual level and are reflected on an altered body posture respectively without significant changes in weight distribution. Yoked prisms BL showed a rightward rotational effect on spatial perception by expanding space on the z axis when viewing through the base of the prism and constricting space through the apex of the prism. Body posture responded respectively to what was visually perceived by altering posture. A rightward shift and tilt of the head was recorded along with the hips shift and shoulders tilt in the dame direction. Additionally, right shoulder shifted backwards and an angular midline shift to the right was recorded. The egocentric localisation was affected by shifting the midline perception to the left. Yoked prisms BU resulted on a head shift forward and a reduction of the head-neck angle by bringing the chin closer to the chest. The egocentric localisation was altered on the vertical axis providing subjects the perception that their eye level was higher during the experiment.
In conclusion, yoked prisms seemed to induce changes in body posture, mainly in the upper body and head, without any significant changes in weight distribution. These changes are partially reflected in spatial perception tests and egocentric localisation before any prismatic adaptation takes place.
Date of AwardSept 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorFrank Eperjesi (Supervisor)


  • barycentre
  • midline shift
  • posturography
  • prism adaptation
  • spatial perception

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