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Herb Yoo, Alan Reichow, Graham Erickson, Karl Citek; Static and dynamic visual acuities of athletes. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):411. doi: 10.1167/9.8.411.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The ability to see details of objects during athletic participation is required in almost every sport, and is advantageous for successful competition. Elevated visual skills are essential for seeing objects in motion during athletic competition; requiring both excellent static visual acuity (SVA) and dynamic visual acuity (DVA). The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine SVA and DVA performance in an athlete population.
SVA and DVA of athletes were measured at a sports performance facility. This athlete population included both genders and ranged from 13 to 38 years of age (N=186). SVA was measured with a Snellen chart. DVA was measured with the inVision™ DVA Test from NeuroCom International, Inc. Two methods of testing DVA are reported here target following (pursuit movement) and target acquisition (horizontal and vertical saccadic movement).
Athletes were divided into six age groups. SVA increased (better acuity) for each ascending age group up to the oldest age group (p[[lt]]0.0001). DVA involving pursuit eye movement increased in younger age groups, peaking at 19 to 24 years of age, and decreased with the older age groups (p=0.024). DVA involving horizontal saccadic movement (target acquisition) increased in younger age groups, peaking at 22 to 27 years of age, and decreased with the oldest age group (p=0.005). For vertical saccadic movement, a strong trend of the same pattern as the horizontal direction was found (p=0.06).
SVA generally improved with age in this athlete population, but DVA declined with age after peaking in the 20's. This agrees with existing literature whereby DVA performance becomes less correlated with SVA at higher target speeds. Comparing pursuit vs. saccadic DVA, the pursuit DVA peaked in the early 20's while saccadic DVA peaked in the mid- to late 20's. This suggests target following and target acquisition skills have different patterns of development.
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