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Comparative Study
, 34 (13), 1691-701

Systematic Measurement of Human Neonatal Color Vision

Comparative Study

Systematic Measurement of Human Neonatal Color Vision

R J Adams et al. Vision Res.


We used a new time-efficient method to evaluate chromatic-achromatic discrimination in newborn (n = 36) and 1-month-old (n = 34) human infants. Results showed that 74% of newborns discriminated a 10.5 x 17.5 deg broadband red patch from all relative luminances of an achromatic background, but only 14% of newborns did so with a blue, 36% with a green, and 25% with a yellow patch. Most infants who "failed" did so at relative luminances very close to the respective photopic luminance match. At 1 month, performance improved somewhat although infants still show clear evidence of discriminating only the red patch. These results, the first to be obtained from individual newborns with a method incorporating a systematic variation of luminance, imply that early color vision is very limited. Possible photoreceptoral and neural bases for these immaturities are discussed.

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