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V Dobson, D Salem, D L Mayer, C Moss, S L Sebris; Visual acuity screening of children 6 months to 3 years of age.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1985;26(8):1057-1063.
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The operant preferential looking (OPL) procedure allows a behavioral estimate of visual acuity to be obtained from children 6 mo to 3 yr of age. In clinical settings, there is often too little time available to obtain an acuity estimate with the standard OPL procedure. The goal of this study was to identify specific spatial frequencies, termed diagnostic grating frequencies, that could enable the OPL technique to be used as a screening procedure under conditions where completion of acuity estimation was not possible. One hundred eighty presumptively normal children, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 mo of age, were each tested with up to 20 trials of a potential diagnostic grating frequency to determine the highest spatial frequency grating that could be resolved by 90% of children at each age. For all ages except 18 mo, there existed a spatial frequency that produced uniformly high OPL performance within the age group; this spatial frequency was separated by one-half to one octave from a higher spatial frequency that more than 30% of children at that age failed to detect. These results suggest that at all ages except 18 mo, it should be possible to use the OPL procedure as a vision screening tool by testing individual children with the diagnostic grating frequency appropriate for their age.
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