The sensitivity of the 2- to 4-month-old human infant accommodation system

Jingyun Wang, T. Rowan Candy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose. The goal of this study was to compare objectively the sensitivity of the accommodation system in human infants and adults under binocular and monocular viewing conditions. Methods. Full-term infants from 2 to 4 months of age and pre-presbyopic adults were presented with a high-contrast cartoon stimulus moving sinusoidally in diopters around a mean position of 2 D (50 cm). Three stimulus amplitudes were used in one trial (0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 D), with unpredictable stimulus motion during each amplitude change. Eccentric photo refraction was used to record accommodative responses at 25 Hz. The stimulus was made monocular by placing an infrared filter over the right eye, to block visible light but pass the near-infrared wavelength of the photo refractor and allow responses to be recorded from both eyes. Results. Fourier analysis was used to determine the accommodative response at the frequency of the stimulus. Significant signal-to-noise ratios indicated that, on average, the 2- to 4-month-old infants generated an accommodative response to at least the 0.75 D amplitude monocular stimulus and the 0.75 and 0.50 D binocular stimuli. Adults responded to the 0.25 D amplitude both binocularly and monocularly. Conclusions. In infants 2 to 4 months of age, the developing visual system compensates for small changes in defocus relative to the typical amounts of hyperopic refractive error found at that age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3309-3317
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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