Binocular coordination of saccades at far and at near in children and in adults

J Vis. 2003;3(8):554-61. doi: 10.1167/3.8.3. Epub 2003 Oct 2.


The goal of the study was to test the quality of binocular coordination of saccades in children and adults, and its dependency upon the viewing distance. Fourteen normal children (4.5-12 years old) and 10 normal adults (22-44 years old) participated. Two distances were studied: far (150 cm) and close (20 cm). Horizontal saccades from both eyes were recorded simultaneously by a photoelectric device. The results show (i) poor binocular coordination of saccades in children is distance dependent: coordination is particularly poor at near and could compromise single binocular vision; and (ii) post-saccadic drift analysis indicates that stability of the eyes after the saccade as well as the quality of binocular alignment during fixation are poor in children, regardless of the viewing distance. The results provide a reference for the normal development of binocular motor control and have important implications for reading in young children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reading
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*