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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Contrast sensitivity threshold measured by sweep-visual evoked potential in term and preterm infants at 3 and 10 months of age

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Costa, M. F. ; Souza, J. M. de ; Ventura, D. F. ; Oliveira, A. G. F. de [4]
Total Authors: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research; v. 37, n. 9, p. 1389-1396, Sept. 2004.
Field of knowledge: Humanities - Psychology

Although healthy preterm infants frequently seem to be more attentive to visual stimuli and to fix on them longer than full-term infants, no difference in visual acuity has been reported compared to term infants. We evaluated the contrast sensitivity (CS) function of term (N = 5) and healthy preterm (N = 11) infants at 3 and 10 months of life using sweep-visual evoked potentials. Two spatial frequencies were studied: low (0.2 cycles per degrees, cpd) and medium (4.0 cpd). The mean contrast sensitivity (expressed in percentage of contrast) of the preterm infants at 3 months was 55.4 for the low spatial frequency (0.2 cpd) and 43.4 for the medium spatial frequency (4.0 cpd). At 10 months the low spatial CS was 52.7 and the medium spatial CS was 9.9. The results for the term infants at 3 months were 55.1 for the low spatial frequency and 34.5 for the medium spatial frequency. At 10 months the equivalent values were 54.3 and 14.4, respectively. No difference was found using the Mann-Whitney rank sum T-test between term and preterm infants for the low frequency at 3 or 10 months or for the medium spatial frequency at 3 or 10 months. The development of CS for the medium spatial frequency was equally fast for term and preterm infants. As also observed for visual acuity, CS was equivalent among term and preterm infants, suggesting that visual experience does not modify the development of the primary visual pathway. An earlier development of synapses in higher cortical visual areas of preterm infants could explain the better use of visual information observed behaviorally in these infants. (AU)