Wondering about saccades – I know nothing much about them; instead of looking at typical saccades, I would start with preterm saccades so I don’t waste times on things that don’t apply to me and lo and behold, this is a good result; yes, there is a difference so now I can pursue that route.
Eye movements have rarely been explored in preterm born children. The aim of this study was to compare horizontal eye movements in children born preterm and full term when they reached 8 years of age.
Eye movements were recorded in 24 preterm born children (18 boys) and 26 matched controls (19 boys), recruited by a French hospital, using an eye tracker. This identified different types of visually guided saccades, namely step, gap, overlap and antisaccades and pursuit eye movements. The saccades task measured the latency and the percentage of anticipatory and express saccades and errors. The pursuit task measured the gain and percentage of intrusive saccades.
This study confirmed that children born at 24–28 weeks of gestation demonstrated a global deficit in inhibitory processes compared to children born full term. The saccades were less precise in the preterm group, anticipatory and express saccades were elevated and there was a high occurrence of intrusive saccades during pursuit movements.
These findings suggest that preterm born children have immature brain structures, particularly the parietal and frontal cortexes that are responsible for both saccade and pursuit performance. These could have been the cause of the abnormal inhibitory control measured in this study.
learning as I go:
“these saccades were intrusive and not catch-up saccades.
The cortical and the subcortical structures involved in pursuits are well known.5 Interestingly, Nagel et al.29 reported that most of the intrusive saccades that occurred during pursuits were related to the activity of the parietal eye field and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The development of all of these structures could be delayed in preterm born children and this could lead to an abnormal occurrence of intrusive saccades during pursuits. ”