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Yifei Wu, Vidhyapriya Sreenivasan, Erin E. Babinsky, T. Rowan Candy; Adaptation of horizontal eye alignment in the presence of prism in young children. Journal of Vision 2016;16(10):6. doi: 10.1167/16.10.6.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Young children experience decreased convergence and increased accommodation demands relative to adults, as a result of their small interpupillary distance and hyperopic refraction. Those with typical amounts of hyperopic refractive error must accommodate more than an emmetrope to achieve focused retinal images, which may also drive additional convergence through the neural coupling. Adults and older children have demonstrated vergence adaptation to a variety of visual stimuli. Can vergence adaptation help younger children achieve alignment in the presence of these potentially conflicting demands? Purkinje image eye tracking and eccentric photorefraction were used to record simultaneous vergence and accommodation responses in adults and young children (3–6 years). To assess vergence adaptation, heterophoria was monitored before, during, and after adaptation induced by both base-in and base-out prisms. Adaptation was observed in both adults and young children with no significant effect of age, F(1, 34) = 0.014, p = 0.907. Changes in accommodation between before, during, and after adaptation were less than 0.5 D in binocular viewing. Typically developing children appear capable of vergence adaptation, which might play an important role in the maintenance of eye alignment under their changing visual demands.
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