Little is known about the developmental plasticity of the vergence and accommodative systems, an important issue since abnormalities can lead to visual problems, e.g. strabismus. One way of artificially altering the links between accommodation and vergence is to vary the stimulus to vergence while fixing the accommodative stimulus, as is found in virtual reality displays. While it would be of interest to study developmental plasticity in this situation, since many children are exposed to games machines which use this arrangement, no studies to date have tackled this issue. There is, however, some indication that long-term VR viewing in adults can lead to visual problems. It seems important to determine the safety of these systems for the developing human visual system before they come into common use. In this paper, adaptation of the accommodation and vergence systems and the effect of VR viewing in adults is discussed. The sparse literature on adaptation in children is then reviewed, and suggestions made for approaches that would enhance our knowledge of plasticity of accommodation and vergence in children.
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