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INFANT BEHAVIOR AND DEVELOPMENT 19,233-240 (1996) Suppression of the Optokinetic Reflex in Human Infants

Summary: INFANT BEHAVIOR AND DEVELOPMENT 19,233-240 (1996)
Suppression of the Optokinetic Reflex in Human Infants:
Implications for Stable Fixation and Shifts of Attention
University of Rochester
The ability of l-, 2-, and 4-month-old infants to attend to a small, stationary visual target while a
large background texture moved horizontally was assessed using electrooculography. The back-
ground texture, consisting of a randomly arranged field of dots or a set of vertically oriented
stripes, was effective at all ages in eliciting the optokinetic reflex (OKR), which stabilizes gaze
on a moving display. When the target, consisting of a red bar, was added to the center of the
moving background display, it was effective in suppressing the OKR, except in I-month-olds.
Under monocular viewing conditions, background motion in the nasal-temporal direction was
ineffective in eliciting robust OKR in l- and 2-month-olds. These same infants presented with
temporal-nasal background motion showed robust OKR equal to their OKR under binocular
viewing conditions. However, the 2-month-olds showed OKR suppression only half as often as
they did under binocular viewing conditions, and the I-month-olds did not show OKR suppres-
sion. The 4-month-olds showed no nasal-temporal OKR asymmetry under monocular viewing
conditions, and, like the 2-month-olds, OKR suppression was present about half as often as
under binocular viewing conditions.
infant visual fixation optokinetic reflex visual attention nasal-temporal asymmetry


Source: Aslin, Richard N. - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester


Collections: Biology and Medicine