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Development of Vernier Acuity in Childhood

CARKEET ANDREW PhD; LEVI, DENNIS M. PhD, FAAO; MANNY, RUTH E. OD, PhD, FAAO
Optometry and Vision Science: September 1997
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ABSTRACT:

Purpose

To measure Vernier acuity and resolution development after 3 years of age.

Methods

Observers were 39 children with normal vision (aged 3 to 12 years), 10 adult observers with normal vision (aged 19 to 24 years), and 7 adults with amblyopia. Vernier acuity and resolution were measured using uncrowded static stimuli and a 3AFC psychophysical paradigm. Curve fitting was used to estimate A2, the age at which thresholds are twice asymptotic levels.

Results

Vernier acuity was hyperacute (i.e., finer than predicted from foveal cone size or spacing) in 3- to 4-year-old observers, but developed later (A2=5.6 ± 1.5 years) than resolution acuity (A2=2.2 ± 0.9 years).

Conclusions

Children's Vernier thresholds are poorer than would be predicted solely from their decreased foveal photon capture. Therefore cortical immaturity may play a role in children's relative position acuity deficit. R/V ratios (resolution/Vernier thresholds) for the youngest age group are similar to those for adult nonstrabismic amblyopes, but better than for strabismic amblyopes.

© 1997 American Academy of Optometry