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Eye (Lond). 2008 Jan;22(1):77-81. Epub 2006 Aug 11.

Relationship between optokinetic nystagmus response and recognition visual acuity.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Ba┼čkent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between recognition visual acuity (RVA) and optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) response exhibited to different bar sizes with varying contrast.


OKN testing was performed in 52 children aged between 3 and 11 years. The children were evaluated in two groups according to their RVA. Group I consisted of 22 eyes with RVA equal to or better than 0.1 logMAR units. Group II consisted of 30 eyes with RVA 0.2-1 logMAR units. Each subject was seated 60 cm from the screen of Ophthimus device, and was exposed to consecutive black and white stripes of seven different spatial frequencies (0.08-1.6 cycle/degree). The narrowest bar that elicited OKN was identified, and then the OKN contrast threshold at this bar size was established.


Twenty-one of the 22 eyes in Group I, and 26 of the 30 eyes in Group II exhibited 1.6 cycle/degree spatial frequency (P=0.287). In Group II, 88.9% of the 18 eyes with RVA 0.2-0.5 logMAR responded at this maximum spatial frequency, whereas the corresponding figure for the 12 eyes with RVA 0.6-1 logMAR was 83.3% (P=0.531). Contrast sensitivity (CS) significantly changed with age in Group I (P=0.006). When the eyes that responded at maximum spatial frequency in the two groups were compared, the mean CS in Group II was significantly lower than that in Group I (P=0.005).


The results indicate no relation between spatial frequency threshold for OKN response and RVA in children. However, the children with RVA deficits had significantly lower CS.

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