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Exp Brain Res. 2011 Apr;210(1):33-44. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2601-7. Epub 2011 Mar 5.

Patterns of change in ocular motor development.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, UK.


This study examined development of pro- and anti-saccadic eye movements in a cross-sequential research design. A hundred and seventeen subjects aged 6-18 years at initial testing were retested 18.9 ± 1.2 months later. Pro- and anti-saccades were elicited under the gap and overlap conditions. We found strong longitudinal developmental effects on all parameters analysed, in particular those derived from the anti-saccade task. These longitudinal changes structurally resembled the cross-sectional age effects observed for the same data. However, the principal component analyses of longitudinal "true" and raw difference scores revealed a stable three-factor solution that was robust to age effects and included (a) an express saccade factor, (b) a variability factor and (c) a factor consisting of direction errors with regular latencies and pro-saccadic RT. Cross-sectional factor analysis, by contrast, merged these two last-mentioned factors. We thus conclude that longitudinal data can provide unique information regarding individual differences in the patterns of developmental change.

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