The grating acuity of 197 infants from 1 week to 53 weeks of age was measured using the visual evoked potential (VEP) in response to counterphase grating stimulation. The gratings were presented as a 10 sec spatial frequency sweep which spanned the acuity limit. The amplitude and phase of the second harmonic response were extracted by discrete Fourier analysis. The VEP amplitude versus spatial frequency function showed narrow spatial frequency tuning with amplitude peaks at one or more spatial frequencies. The phase of the response at medium to high spatial frequencies was generally constant at a spatial frequency peak, followed by a progressive phase lag with increasing spatial frequency. Grating acuity was estimated by linear extrapolation to zero microvolts of the highest spatial frequency peak in the VEP amplitude versus spatial frequency function. This visual acuity estimate increased from a mean of 4.5 c/deg during the first month to about 20c/deg at 8–13 months of age. The VEP acuities at 1 month are a factor of three to five higher than previously reported for pattern reversal or pattern appearance stimuli. By 8 months VEP grating resolution was not reliably different from adult levels in the same apparatus.
Publication Type: Journal
Authors: A.M. Norcia; Christopher W Tyler