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T. Rowan Candy, Shrikant R. Bharadwaj; The stability of steady state accommodation in human infants. Journal of Vision 2007;7(11):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.11.4.
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Retinal image quality in infants is largely determined by the accuracy and the stability of their accommodative responses. Although the accuracy of infants' accommodation has been investigated previously, little is known about the stability of their responses. We performed two experiments that characterized the stability of infants' steady state accommodation. Analyses were performed in the time domain (root mean square [RMS] deviation) and in the frequency domain (spectral analysis). In Experiment 1, accommodation responses were recorded for a period of 3 s from the left eye of four groups of infants (8–10, 11–13, 14–19, and 20–30 weeks of age) and eight prepresbyopic adults while they focused on a small toy placed at a dioptric viewing distance of 1.0 D (at 1 m). In Experiment 2, accommodation responses were recorded for a period of 14 s from the left eye of a group of 8- to 12-week-old infants and six prepresbyopic adults while they focused on a cartoon image placed at three different dioptric viewing distances (1.25, 2.0, and 3.0 D). The data, collected using a photorefractor sampling at 25 Hz, showed two important characteristics. First, the RMS deviations and the power were quantitatively similar across different infant age groups, and they were significantly larger in infants than in adults. Second, the overall and relative power also increased with the dioptric viewing distance both in infants and adults. At all three dioptric viewing distances, the measures of power were larger in infants than in adults. These data demonstrate that infants' accommodative responses contain instabilities that are qualitatively very similar to those observed in adults. However, the larger RMS deviations suggest that infants are likely to experience larger fluctuations in retinal image quality than adults.
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