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Siobhan Marie Ludden, Anna M Horwood, Patricia M Riddell; Reading and attention in relation to naturalistic accommodation responses in typical children.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):319.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Our previous research has found that many children underaccommodate at 33cm and it has been suggested that underaccommodation may be associated with poorer reading ability or attention in children. An ongoing study is investigating typical accommodative responses in children, under naturalistic conditions and exploring the relationship between accommodation and reading ability and attention.
30 healthy, typically developing children were recruited from 3 UK primary schools, from varied socio-economic backgrounds. Children were aged 10-11yrs, without any prior diagnoses of reading or attention difficulties and had passed visual acuity screening when aged between 4.5 and 5.5yrs. All children had a minimum distance visual acuity of 0.200 LogMAR and near visual acuity of 0.100 LogMAR. A Plusoptix R09 PowerRef3 photorefractor was used to assess naturalistic accommodation responses objectively at 33cm to a range of targets. The accommodative targets varied in complexity and included sustained reading of age appropriate text of different font sizes, individual letters, a colourful picture and a visual search puzzle. Target presentation order was counterbalanced. Reading rate, accuracy and comprehension was assessed using the “York Assessment of Reading Comprehension” (YARC), a UK standardised reading test. Attention measures were obtained using the “Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch)”, a standardised attention battery.
The accommodative response varied greatly across participants with lag greater than 0.5D being common. The accommodative responses varied significantly across target types (F5,145=9.361; p<0.001); higher accommodative responses were observed to more complex tasks such as reading print. All children achieved reading and attention scores within normal ranges. No significant correlation was found between the accommodation response to each target and the measures of reading ability or attention (p>0.05).
In typical children target type influences the accommodative response observed and their accommodative response to different targets may vary greatly. In older primary school children accommodation does not appear to be correlated with reading ability or attention; children who exert less accommodation to targets at 33cm do not appear to perform worse on standardised measures of reading or attention than children who accommodate more appropriately.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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