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Shrikant R. Bharadwaj, Jingyun Wang, T. Rowan Candy; Pupil responses to near visual demand during human visual development. Journal of Vision 2011;11(4):6. doi: 10.1167/11.4.6.
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Pupil responses of adults to near visual demands are well characterized but those of typically developing infants and children are not. This study determined the following pupil characteristics of infants, children and adults using a PowerRefractor (25 Hz): i) binocular and monocular responses to a cartoon movie that ramped between 80 and 33 cm (20 infants, 20 2–4-yr-olds and 20 adults participated) ii) binocular and monocular response threshold for 0.1 Hz sinusoidal stimuli of 0.25 D, 0.5 D or 0.75 D amplitude (33 infants and 8 adults participated) iii) steady-state stability of pupil responses at 80 cms (8 infants and 8 adults participated). The change in pupil diameter with viewing distance (Δpd) was significantly smaller in infants and 2–4-yr-olds than in adults (p < 0.001) and significantly smaller under monocular than binocular conditions (p < 0.001). The 0.75 D sinusoidal stimulus elicited a significant binocular pupillary response in infants and a significant binocular and monocular pupillary response in adults. Steady-state pupillary fluctuations were similar in infants and adults (p = 0.25). The results suggest that the contribution of pupil size to changes in retinal image quality when tracking slow moving objects may be smaller during development than in adulthood. Smaller monocular Δpd reflects the importance of binocular cues in driving near-pupillary responses.
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