A pseudoisochromatic test of color vision for human infants

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Despite the development of experimental methods capable of measuring early human color vision, we still lack a procedure comparable to those used to diagnose the well-identified congenital and acquired color vision anomalies in older children, adults, and clinical patients. In this study, we modified a pseudoisochromatic test to make it more suitable for young infants. Using a forced choice preferential looking procedure, 216 3-to-23-mo-old babies were tested with pseudoisochromatic targets that fell on either a red/green or a blue/yellow dichromatic confusion axis. For comparison, 220 color-normal adults and 22 color-deficient adults were also tested. Results showed that all babies and adults passed the blue/yellow target but many of the younger infants failed the red/green target, likely due to the interaction of the lingering immaturities within the visual system and the small CIE vector distance within the red/green plate. However, older (17–23 mo) infants, color- normal adults and color-defective adults all performed according to expectation. Interestingly, performance on the red/green plate was better among female infants, well exceeding the expected rate of genetic dimorphism between genders. Overall, with some further modification, the test serves as a promising tool for the detection of early color vision anomalies in early human life.

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