This is an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. Nature Research are providing this early version of the manuscript as a service to our authors and readers. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting and a proof review before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers apply.

Early visuospatial attention and processing and related neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years in children born very preterm

Abstract

Background

The ability to perceive and process visuospatial information is a condition for broader neurodevelopment. We examined the association of early visuospatial attention and processing with later neurodevelopmental outcome in very preterm infants.

Methods

Visuospatial attention and processing was assessed in 209 children (<30 weeks gestation) using an easy applicable eye tracking-based paradigm at 1 and 2 years. Average reaction times to fixation (RTF) on specific visual stimuli were calculated, representing time needed for overall attention (Cartoon stimuli) and processing (Motion and Form stimuli). Associations between RTFs and various measures of development at 2 years including cognitive and motor development (Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third edition; Bayley-III), language (Lexi test) and behavior (Child Behavior Checklist) were examined.

Results

At 1 year, 100 ms slower Cartoon and Motion RTFs were associated with lower cognitive Bayley-III scores (−4.4 points, 95%CI: −7.4; −1.5 and −1.0 points, −1.8; −0.2, respectively). A 100 ms slower Cartoon RTF was associated with a 3.5 (−6.6; −0.5) point decrease in motor Bayley-III score.

Conclusions

Visuospatial attention and motion processing at 1 year is predictive of overall cognitive and motor development 1 year later. The nonverbal eye tracking-based test can assist in early detection of preterm children at risk of adverse neurodevelopment.

Impact

  • Visuospatial attention and processing at 1 year corrected age is predictive for overall cognitive and motor development 1 year later in preterm infants.

  • First study to relate early visuospatial attention and processing with later neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm children.

  • Early detection of preterm children at risk of adverse neurodevelopment, which allows for more timely interventions.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marijn J. Vermeulen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Beunders, V.A.A., Vermeulen, M.J., Roelants, J.A. et al. Early visuospatial attention and processing and related neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years in children born very preterm. Pediatr Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-01206-7

Download citation

Search