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      Ophthalmic disorder may affect visuo-attentional performance in childhood.

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          Abstract

          The aim of this study was to explore the visuo-attentional skills of children with an ophthalmic disorder. Twenty-four patients and 60 healthy controls between the ages 4 and 7 years, all right-handed with normal or corrected-to-normal close visual acuity, were divided into four age groups. Patients' diagnoses included refractive disorders (e.g., myopia, hypermetropia), strabismus, amblyopia, cataract, and nystagmus. All participants performed nine paper-and-pencil visuospatial tasks aiming to assess selective attention (cancellation tasks), spatial working memory (symbol orientation task), fine visual analysis (embedded figures test), and simple perceptual analysis (shape-matching task). In healthy children, the results showed that performance on all visuo-attentional tasks improved with age. While perception, orientation of attention, and visual working memory develop by the time children begin school (age 5), more sophisticated abilities such as attention disengagement and motor control continue to develop during late childhood. Moreover, a spatial bias in attention orienting appeared with reading acquisition (6-7 years). In ophthalmic children, at 4 years of age defects were observed in all assessed functions, but at 7 years an attentional deficit was virtually the only one remaining. Overall, the results demonstrate that children with an ophthalmologic disorder may experience difficulties with visuospatial tasks despite corrected-to-normal visual acuity.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Child Neuropsychol
          Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence
          Informa UK Limited
          1744-4136
          0929-7049
          2013
          : 19
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5105, Université Pierre Mendès France, Grenoble, France.
          Article
          10.1080/09297049.2012.670214
          22424153

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