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Development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very prematurely born infants: 2. The low-risk subgroup.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Barnendokrinologisk forskning/Gustafsson)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 100, no 7, e5-e11 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim:  To investigate the impact of premature birth on visual tracking in a group of 37 infants, born before the 32nd gestational weeks (mean 29 + 6 weeks) and diagnosed as being without major neonatal complications. This paper is a part of the LOVIS study (Strand Brodd, Ewald, Grönqvist, Holmström, Strömberg, Von Hofsten, et al. Acta Pediatrica, 2011). Methods:  At 2 and 4 months corrected age, eye and head movements were measured when the infant tracked a moving object. The eye movements were analysed in terms of smooth pursuit and saccades (Vision Res, 37, 1997, 1799; Exp Brain Res, 146, 2002, 257). Accuracy of gaze, proportion of smooth pursuit, head movements and saccades were calculated. Results:  Between 2 and 4 months of age, all infants improved their ability to smoothly pursue a moving object. However, at both occasions, the preterm infants had less proportion smooth pursuit than the full-term infants. The groups did not differ with respect to gaze and head movements, but the saccade frequency was higher for the very preterms in some of the conditions. Conclusion:  The development of smooth pursuit in the low-risk preterm infant group was strongly delayed compared to typically developed infants. Thus, the 2 months or more extra visual experience did not have a distinguishable positive effect on visuo-motor development as expressed in smooth pursuit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 100, no 7, e5-e11 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155197DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02247.xISI: 000291224200007PubMedID: 21362038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155197DiVA: diva2:424679
Note

Manuskriptets titel i avhandlingen: Delayed development of smooth pursuit in very preterm infants with low risk

Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Delayed Development of Visuomotor Capacity in Very Preterm Infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Delayed Development of Visuomotor Capacity in Very Preterm Infants
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To coordinate visual perception and motor control in daily life where we are constantly surrounded by motion, we are dependent on normal visuomotor capacity. One essential prerequisite for normal visuomotor capacity is smooth pursuit eye movements (SP). Infants born very preterm (VPT = born <32 gestational weeks) are at high risk of developing disabilities in higher brain functions i.e. perception, cognition, concentration and coordination.

In this thesis visuomotor capacity was investigated in a cohort of VPT infants (n = 113) and compared to control groups of full term (FT) infants. Levels of SP were measured at 2 and 4 months’ corrected age (CA). At 8 months’ CA reaching capacity toward a moving object was evaluated as this represents an executive activity guided by vision that develops at an early age.

Lower levels of SP were found in the VPT infants compared to FT controls. The VPT boys showed higher levels of SP compared to the VPT girls.

In VPT infants without major neonatal morbidities lower levels of SP was found compared to the FT controls. No difference in total capacity of gaze tracking was found, although the VPT infants lagged the object more at 4 months’ CA and used more saccades at 2 months’ CA.

With age the VPT infants’ SP levels increased, but with a wider dispersion compared to the FT controls, and the levels of SP at 4 months’ CA corresponded to the levels of the FT infants at 2 months.

 A number of perinatal risk factors were found to be negatively associated to lower levels of SP, and this effect was more pronounced in VPT infants with multiple risk factors,.

 When evaluating the capacity to reach a moving object at 8 months’ CA, the VPT infants showed significantly more bimanual reach and more curved reaching paths to catch the object as compared to the FT control group.

In conclusion, a delayed visuomotor capacity was found in VPT infants compared to FT control infants at 2, 4 and 8 months’ CA. Some VPT infants with perinatal risk factors did not develop in levels of SP between 2 and 4 months’ CA.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 58 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 681
Keyword
preterm infants, visual development, neurosensory development, smooth pursuit eye movements, perinatal risk factors, reaching movements
National Category
Pediatrics
Research subject
Pediatrics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156518 (URN)978-91-554-8110-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-15, Rosénsalen, Ing 95/96 NBV, Kvinno-och Barndivisionen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-08-25 Created: 2011-07-28 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved
2. Visual motor development in full term and preterm infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual motor development in full term and preterm infants
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Smooth tracking and efficient reaching for moving objects require the ability to predict the velocity and trajectory of the object. This skill is important to be able to perceive human action and object motion in the world. This thesis explores early visual motor development in full term and preterm infants.

Study I showed that horizontal eye tracking develops ahead of vertical (full term infants at 5, 7 and 9 months of age). The vertical component is also more affected when a second dimension is added during circular pursuit. It is concluded that different mechanisms appear to underlie vertical and horizontal eye movements

Study II-IV compared the development of the ability to visually track and reach for moving objects in very preterm infants born <32 gestational weeks to healthy infants born at term. The development of horizontal smooth pursuit at 2 and 4 months of corrected age was delayed for the preterm group (Study II). Some infants were catching up whereas others were not improving at all. A question raised by the results was whether the delay was caused by specific injuries as a result of the prematurity. However, the delays persisted when all infants with known neonatal complications and infants born small for gestational age were excluded (Study III), indicating that they were caused by prematurity per se. At 8 months corrected age preterm and full term infants were equally good at aiming reaches and successfully catching a moving object. Nevertheless, the preterm group used a bimanual strategy more often and had a more jerky and circuitous path than the full term group (Study IV). In summary, preterm infants showed a delayed visual motor development compared to infants born at term.

The results of these studies suggest that there is additional diffuse damage to the visual motor system that is not related to neonatal complications as diagnosed today. Measuring smooth pursuit could potentially be a new method for early non-invasive diagnosis of impaired visual function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 70 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 62
Keyword
infant development, smooth pursuit, eye tracking, reaching, preterm infants
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-130858 (URN)978-91-554-7892-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-29, Sydney Alrutz-salen, Blåsenhus, Von Kraemers allé 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-10-08 Created: 2010-09-15 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Grönqvist, HelenaBrodd, Katarina StrandRosander, Kerstin

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