Saccadic localization of visual targets by the very young human infant

  title={Saccadic localization of visual targets by the very young human infant},
  author={Richard N. Aslin and Philip Salapatek},
  journal={Perception \& Psychophysics},
The direction, latency, and form of the 1- and 2-month-old human infant’s saccadic eye movements toward peripheral targets were investigated. Infants of both ages reliably executed a directionally appropriate first saccade toward a peripheral target introduced as far as 30 deg from the line of sight along the horizontal and both diagonal axes, but only to 10 deg along the vertical axis. The presence of a second target in the central visual field reduced the probability of peripheral target… 
Central and Peripheral Object Distances as Determinants of the Effective Visual Field in Early Infancy
The ability to respond to peripheral objects more distant than the fixation object develops after three months, but this effect was modified both by age and by the distance of central fixation.
Development and learning of saccadic eye movements in 7- to 42-month-old children.
This first set of results suggests that short visual experience and/or rapid sensorimotor learning are functional in children and can also affect saccade performance and indicates that performance is flexible in children.
Infant saccades are not slow
It is concluded that measuring saccade speed is practicable in the young infant, and there was no statistically significant difference between adult and infant main sequences for duration or peak velocity.
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  • Psychology, Biology
    Infancy : the official journal of the International Society on Infant Studies
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The effect of attention in young infants on the saccadic localization of peripheral stimuli was examined and a decrease in the slope of the linear component of the main sequence was found from 5 to 11 weeks of age, and this decrease was independent of attention.
Horizontal saccade dynamics across the human life span.
Age affected saccadic latency, accuracy, and velocity and for each parameter there was a different pattern of development and decline probably related to the way in which the portion of the brain that controls each function develops and ages.


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The widespread occurrence of saccadic movements in the normal human and the fact that they can be observed in very young infants and in lower species with good ocular motility suggest that they constitute a basic response pattern in the oculomotor system.
Stimulus control and the growth of the infant’s effective visual field*
The size of the infant’s effective visual field was studied weekly in infants starting at 2 weeks of age until they were 10 weeks old, The field was initially quite small, 15 deg to either side of
Infant looking patterns.
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Under carefully controlled conditions, in blocks of trials in which the stimulus displacement on any given trial is randomly selected from a group of two, four, or eight possible displacements, latency for lateral saccadic eye movement does not change, and previous estimates of saccade latency using single stimulus displacements were underestimates.
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The experiments demonstrate that the visual system is sometimes able to cancel an eye-movement response to a pulse, on the basis of information contained in the subsequent step, to which it responds instead.
The growth of the effective visual field from birth to seven weeks.
Analysis of characteristics of fixation reflex in infants by use of direct current electrooculography
The newborn infant appeared to possess innately a more highly developed fixation reflex than heretofore realized but which would be expected from the well-developed visual acuity found in the first study.
Latency and duration of eye movements in the horizontal plane.
It was found that the two eyes tend to act independently in regard to latency and speed of movement when moving toward peripheral stimuli.