An automated segmentation approach to calibrating infantile nystagmus waveforms

Behav Res Methods. 2019 Oct;51(5):2074-2084. doi: 10.3758/s13428-018-1178-5.


Infantile nystagmus (IN) describes a regular, repetitive movement of the eyes. A characteristic feature of each cycle of the IN eye movement waveform is a period in which the eyes are moving at minimal velocity. This so-called "foveation" period has long been considered the basis for the best vision in individuals with IN. In recent years, the technology for measuring eye movements has improved considerably, but there remains the challenge of calibrating the direction of gaze in tracking systems when the eyes are continuously moving. Identifying portions of the nystagmus waveform suitable for calibration typically involves time-consuming manual selection of the foveation periods from the eye trace. Without an accurate calibration, the exact parameters of the waveform cannot be determined. In this study, we present an automated method for segmenting IN waveforms with the purpose of determining the foveation positions to be used for calibration of an eye tracker. On average, the "point of regard" was found to be within 0.21° of that determined by hand-marking by an expert observer. This method enables rapid clinical quantification of waveforms and the possibility of gaze-contingent research paradigms being performed with this patient group.

Keywords: Calibration; Eye movements; Foveation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automation
  • Calibration*
  • Eye Movement Measurements*
  • Eye Movements
  • Humans
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic
  • Visual Acuity