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Angela M. Brown, Delwin T. Lindsey, PremNandhini Satgunam, Jaime A. Miracle; Critical Immaturities Limiting Infant Binocular Stereopsis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(3):1424-1434. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0718.
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purpose. To determine what critical immaturity is responsible for the poor binocular stereopsis of human infants.
methods. Infant and adult psychometric functions were measured for detection of stereoscopic depth in a random-texture display. A test stimulus defined by horizontal binocular disparity and a distracter stimulus defined by vertical disparity were used. Adults were tested by direct psychophysical methods at several contrast values, and infants by forced-choice preferential looking at 100% contrast.
results. Infant stereoacuity matured from unmeasurable at age 12 weeks to 7.9 arc min at 20 weeks, which was still far from the nominal adult value of 5 to 10 arc seconds. In contrast, infant d-max (maximum disparity) was 86.8 minutes at 20 weeks, which was near the adult d-max of 110.6 minutes. The average maximum level of infant performance at 20 weeks was 77% correct, still far below adult performance. When the adult stereogram was low contrast, adult extrafoveal performance was similar to infant performance. Infant and adult stereo performance was predicted quantitatively, using infant and adult monocular performance in detecting the stereogram texture. Infant and adult stereopsis performance approached, but did not reach, the predicted values.
conclusions. The infantlike performance of adults tested at low contrast and the similarity of infant maximum percentage of correct data relative to the predicted values suggested that the critical immaturity limiting infant stereopsis is the well-known insensitivity of the infant visual system to contrast. This conclusion supports the clinical use of stereopsis as a screening test for bilateral monocular function in infants.
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