In a series of 152 patients with congenital nystagmus, 119 had sensory nystagmus while 13 had pure motor nystagmus. The most common diagnoses in the sensory group were optic nerve hypoplasia. Leber's amaurosis, and oculocutaneous or ocular albinism. Eight of the patients in the motor group had a similarly afflicted parent. Diagnostic features in infants and preverbal children were reviewed. This study supports the continued clinical classification of congenital nystagmus into sensory and motor subtypes.