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June 1964

Developmental Study of Coordinated Eye Movements in the Human Infant: I. Visual Acuity in the Newborn Human: A Study Based on Induced Optokinetic Nystagmus Recorded by Electro-Oculography

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery/Ophthalmology and Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles, The Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(6):865-870. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010881017

Introduction  This is the first report of current investigations into the relationship of the development of the optomotor reflexes in the human infant to the acquisition of binocular vision. It has been established that in order to achieve normal binocular vision each eye must have macular vision, which some investigators believe is conditioned postnatally over a period of months.1 Therefore, as a first step in this study, the precise determination of the visual acuity of the newborn was undertaken with targets subtending angles considerably smaller than those used in previously reported studies. This report presents results of measurement of visual acuity by the observation of induced optokinetic nystagmus (OKN), which was recorded by means of the technique of electro-oculography.

Review of the Problem  Observations by some authors have led to the clinical impression that vision in the newborn is limited to the differentiation of gross objects.2 In other