June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Longitudinal study of chromatic and luminance contrast sensitivity in full-term and pre-term infants
Author Affiliations
  • R. G. Bosworth
    Dept. of Psychology, University of California, San Diego
  • B. Hinga
    Dept. of Psychology, University of California, San Diego
  • S. L. Robbins
    Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego
  • K. R. Dobkins
    Dept. of Psychology, University of California, San Diego
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 287. doi:10.1167/6.6.287
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      R. G. Bosworth, B. Hinga, S. L. Robbins, K. R. Dobkins; Longitudinal study of chromatic and luminance contrast sensitivity in full-term and pre-term infants. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):287. doi: 10.1167/6.6.287.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: Previous VEP studies have investigated the development of chromatic (Chr) and luminance (Lum) contrast sensitivity. Here, we used a psychophysical technique to longitudinally track the development of Chr and Lum sensitivity between 2–7 months. In addition, we tested pre-term infants to determine whether Chr and Lum sensitivity are differentially affected by extra-uterine visual exposure.

Methods: Using forced-choice preferential looking (FPL), contrast thresholds were obtained for chromatic (Chr, red/green isoluminant) and luminance (Lum, black/yellow) sinusoidal gratings (15 by 15 deg; 0.27 cpd; 4 Hz; mean luminance = 12 cd/m2). The Chr stimuli were set to isoluminance using the mean isoluminant point from 24 adults using a minimal motion technique. Cone contrasts of the stimuli were: Lum = 2–46%, Chr = 2–24%. Weibull functions were fit to the data to obtain a threshold, and then sensitivity, for each infant. Log Lum:Chr sensitivity ratios were calculated for each infant.

Results: Data from 25 full-term infants show that, consistent with previous results, Lum sensitivity is greater than Chr sensitivity at 2 and 3 months of age. By around 4 or 5 months, there is a reversal in the Lum:Chr ratio, such that Chr sensitivity is greater. Preterm infants show a similar change in Lum:Chr ratio with age, however, more subjects will be needed to determine whether their Lum:Chr ratios are dictated by adjusted age or postnatal age.

Conclusions: Infants become relatively more sensitive to chromatic stimuli with increasing age, which suggests differential rates of magnocellular vs. parvocellular pathway development.

Bosworth, R. G. Hinga, B. Robbins, S. L. Dobkins, K. R. (2006). Longitudinal study of chromatic and luminance contrast sensitivity in full-term and pre-term infants [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):287, 287a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/287/, doi:10.1167/6.6.287. [CrossRef]
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