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Visual motor development in full term and preterm infants
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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 [en]
infant development, smooth pursuit, eye tracking, reaching, preterm infants
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-130858ISBN: 978-91-554-7892-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-130858DiVA: diva2:351798
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
List of papers
1. Developmental asymmetries between horizontal and vertical tracking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developmental asymmetries between horizontal and vertical tracking
2006 (English)In: Vision Research, ISSN 0042-6989, E-ISSN 1878-5646, Vol. 46, no 11, 1754-1761 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of the asymmetry between horizontal and vertical eye tracking was investigated longitudinally at 5, 7, and 9 months of age. The target moved either on a 2D circular trajectory or on a vertical or horizontal 1D sinusoidal trajectory. Saccades, smooth pursuit, and head movements were measured. Vertical tracking was found to be inferior to horizontal tracking at all age levels. The results also show that the mechanisms responsible for horizontal and vertical tracking mutually influence one another in the production of 2D visual pursuit. Learning effects were observed within-trials but no transfer between trials was found.

Keyword
Visual development, Infants, Visual tracking, Vertical eye movements, 2D tracking
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-78687 (URN)10.1016/j.visres.2005.11.007 (DOI)
Available from: 2006-03-28 Created: 2006-03-28 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved
2. Development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very preterm infants: 1. General aspects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very preterm infants: 1. General aspects
Show others...
2011 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 100, no 7, 983-991 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim:  To investigate early oculo-motor development in a population-based cohort of very preterm infants.

Methods:  Early oculo-motor development was prospectively studied by measuring smooth pursuit eye movements at 2 and 4 months corrected age in a population of very preterm infants born in Uppsala County 2004–2007. Eighty-one preterm infants were studied, and 32 healthy term infants constituted the control group.

Results:  The study group consisted of infants with a mean gestational age of28 + 5 weeks. At 2 and 4 months corrected age, infants born very preterm showed lower gain (p < 0.001) and proportion of smooth pursuit eyemovements (p < 0.001) compared to the control group. The boys showed higher gain of smooth pursuit eye movements at both 2 and 4 months corrected age, compared to girls.

Conclusions:  Oculo-motor development measured by smooth pursuit eye movements is delayed in very preterm infants at 2 and 4 months corrected age. This might be a risk factor or early indicator of later perceptual and behavioural impairment.

Keyword
Infant development, Oculo-motor, Preterm infant, Smooth pursuit eye movements
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155277 (URN)10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02218.x (DOI)000291224200025 ()
Note

Titel på manuskript i avhandling: Delayed development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very preterm born infants. A Longitudinal Study of VISuomotor capacity (“LOVIS”)

Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved
3. Development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very prematurely born infants: 2. The low-risk subgroup.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of smooth pursuit eye movements in very prematurely born infants: 2. The low-risk subgroup.
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.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155197 (URN)10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02247.x (DOI)000291224200007 ()21362038 (PubMedID)
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: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved
4. Reaching strategies of very preterm infants at 8 months corrected age
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reaching strategies of very preterm infants at 8 months corrected age
2011 (English)In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 209, no 2, 225-233 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reaching strategies and kinematics for a group of very preterm infants were investigated and compared with a group of full-term infants when reaching for a moving object. Eight-month-old (corrected-age) infants were presented with small toys moving on a semicircular path in the vertical plane. The trajectories of the target and the hands of the infants were measured using a 3D motion analysis system. No differences were found in how often the infants encountered the target. The very preterm group, however, used bimanual strategies more often and had more curved reaching paths than the full-term group. These results suggest that very preterm infants are equally successful as healthy full-term infants in catching a moving object but their reaching strategies are less efficient compared with full-term infants at 8 months (corrected age).

Keyword
bimanual, development, moving objects, preterm infants, reaching, kinematics
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156745 (URN)10.1007/s00221-011-2538-x (DOI)000288337200007 ()21267552 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-08-09 Created: 2011-08-09 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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