Delayed Development of Visuomotor Capacity in Very Preterm Infants
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
To coordinate visual perception and motor control in daily life where we are constantly surrounded by motion, we are dependent on normal visuomotor capacity. One essential prerequisite for normal visuomotor capacity is smooth pursuit eye movements (SP). Infants born very preterm (VPT = born <32 gestational weeks) are at high risk of developing disabilities in higher brain functions i.e. perception, cognition, concentration and coordination.
In this thesis visuomotor capacity was investigated in a cohort of VPT infants (n = 113) and compared to control groups of full term (FT) infants. Levels of SP were measured at 2 and 4 months’ corrected age (CA). At 8 months’ CA reaching capacity toward a moving object was evaluated as this represents an executive activity guided by vision that develops at an early age.
Lower levels of SP were found in the VPT infants compared to FT controls. The VPT boys showed higher levels of SP compared to the VPT girls.
In VPT infants without major neonatal morbidities lower levels of SP was found compared to the FT controls. No difference in total capacity of gaze tracking was found, although the VPT infants lagged the object more at 4 months’ CA and used more saccades at 2 months’ CA.
With age the VPT infants’ SP levels increased, but with a wider dispersion compared to the FT controls, and the levels of SP at 4 months’ CA corresponded to the levels of the FT infants at 2 months.
A number of perinatal risk factors were found to be negatively associated to lower levels of SP, and this effect was more pronounced in VPT infants with multiple risk factors,.
When evaluating the capacity to reach a moving object at 8 months’ CA, the VPT infants showed significantly more bimanual reach and more curved reaching paths to catch the object as compared to the FT control group.
In conclusion, a delayed visuomotor capacity was found in VPT infants compared to FT control infants at 2, 4 and 8 months’ CA. Some VPT infants with perinatal risk factors did not develop in levels of SP between 2 and 4 months’ CA.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 58 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 681
preterm infants, visual development, neurosensory development, smooth pursuit eye movements, perinatal risk factors, reaching movements
Research subject Pediatrics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156518ISBN: 978-91-554-8110-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156518DiVA: diva2:432035
2011-09-15, Rosénsalen, Ing 95/96 NBV, Kvinno-och Barndivisionen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Rönnqvist, Louise, Professor
Ewald, Uwe, professorHolmström, Gerd, professorStrömberg, Bo, docentvon Hofsten, Claes, Professor
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