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Evidence for fixation instability in children with Down syndrome

Viñuela-Navarro, Valldeflors, Erichsen, Jonathan, Little, Julie-Anne, Saunders, Kathryn J and Woodhouse, Margaret J (2017) Evidence for fixation instability in children with Down syndrome. In: Child Vision Research Society XVI conference. Wiley. Vol 37 (6) 2 pp. [Conference contribution]

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URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/opo.12421/full

DOI: 10.1111/opo.12421


Background: A large number of children with Down’s syndrome (DS) who attend the Special Assessment Clinic (Cardiff University) are reported by parents and teachers to struggle with scanning strategies in some near school tasks, particularly when these involve arrays of pictures. These anecdotal reports suggest a potential visual scanning deficit in this population.Methods: Scanning eye movements from children with DS and controls were recorded using a Tobii TX300 eye tracker while presenting a short series (<5 minutes) of near scanning tasks (25cm) representative of those at school. The number and duration of fixations, the number of saccades, and the time to complete the tasks were obtained for each participant. Means and standard deviations were calculated for each group.Results: Successful recordings were obtained from 96% and 60% of the scanning tasks for controls and children with DS, respectively.Results from 26 controls (mean (±sd) age 9.48±2.25 years) and 21 children with DS (mean age 8.36±2.30 years) suggest that while there are no differences between groups in the number of fixations (p=0.293), fixation durations are significantly shorter in children with DS (170ms±40 compared with 260ms±70, p<0.01). Additionally, children with DS perform more saccades (23±10 compared with 12±8; p<0.01) and take significantly longer than controls to complete the scanning tasks (4.3s±1.6 compared with 2.2s±1.7; p<0.01).Conclusions: The reduced fixation duration and increased number of saccades found in children with DS while performing scanning tasks suggest a fixation stability deficit in DS.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Lecture)
Keywords:down syndrome, fixation, eye movements, vision, saccades
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Optometry and Vision Science
ID Code:39017
Deposited By: Dr Julie-Anne Little
Deposited On:28 Nov 2017 13:44
Last Modified:28 Nov 2017 13:44

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