Letter | Published:

Acuity and contrast sensivity of infant vision

Naturevolume 247pages403404 (1974) | Download Citation



IF we are to study the development of form and space perception in man, it is necessary to know something of the basic visual capabilities of the developing human infant. There have been a number of investigations of visual acuity in the first few months of life. Using fixation preference as a measure, Fantz et al.1 showed that infants could discriminate a stripe pattern of 1.5 cycles per degree by 1 month, and 3 cycles per degree by 2 months. Dayton et al.2 found that newborn infants showed optokinetic nystagmus to a 4 cycles per degree pattern. These studies demonstrate a useful degree of visual spatial resolution in very young infants, though one markedly poorer than the typical adult value of 40 cycles per degree.

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  1. 1

    Fantz, R. L., Ordy, J. M., and Udelf, M. S., J. comp. physiol. Psychol., 55, 907 (1962).

  2. 2

    Dayton, G. O., Jones, M. H., Aiu, P., Rawson, R. A., Steele, B., and Rose M., Archs Ophthal., 71, 665 (1964).

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    Schade, O. H., J. opt. Soc. Am., 46, 721 (1956).

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    Campbell, F. W., and Robson, J. G., J. Physiol., Lond., 197, 551 (1968).

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    Teller, D. Y., Soc. Res. Child Development, March (1973).

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    Haynes, H., White, B. L., and Held, R., Science, N.Y., 148, 528 (1965).

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    Tolhurst, D. J., J. Physiol. Lond., 231, 385 (1973).

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  1. Psychological Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge



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