An exploratory factor analysis of visual performance in a large population

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A factor analysis was performed on 25 visual and auditory performance measures from 1060 participants. The results revealed evidence both for a factor relating to general perceptual performance, and for eight independent factors that relate to particular perceptual skills. In an unrotated PCA, the general factor for perceptual performance accounted for 19.9% of the total variance in the 25 performance measures. Following varimax rotation, 8 consistent factors were identified, which appear to relate to (1) sensitivity to medium and high spatial frequencies, (2) auditory perceptual ability (3) oculomotor speed, (4) oculomotor control, (5) contrast sensitivity at low spatial frequencies, (6) stereo acuity, (7) letter recognition, and (8) flicker sensitivity. The results of a hierarchical cluster analysis were consistent with our rotated factor solution. We also report correlations between the eight performance factors and other (non-performance) measures of perception, demographic and anatomical measures, and questionnaire items probing other psychological variables.

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