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September 1958

Standardization of Objective Visual Acuity MeasurementsOpticokinetic Nystagmus us. Snellen Acuity

Author Affiliations

Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1958;60(3):418-421. doi:10.1001/archopht.1958.00940080436010

The opticokinetic reflex has been used by a number of investigators1,2 to estimate visual acuity objectively and, more recently, has been utilized by Gorman3 in this laboratory to estimate the visual acuity of newborn infants. The present investigation is an attempt to correlate Gorman's objective results with known subjective visual acuities.

The opticokinetic reflex is dependent upon a reflex arc composed of the retina, optic nerve, optic tract, optic cortical areas, association fibers to the ocular motor centers and finally with the cranial nerves 3, 4, and 6. The fact that cortical areas are necessary for this reflex was early established by Cords4 and subsequently verified by many others. As a result of this, it can be stated confidently that when the reflex is present the subject is capable of vision.5

Opticokinetic nystagmus (train nystagmus) is present when a visible field is moved in front of

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