Thesis defense Annemiek Barsingerhorn (Donders series 338)
31 October 2018
Promotor: prof. dr. A. van Opstal
Co-promotors: dr. H. Goossens, dr. F. Boonstra
Beyond visual acuity: Development of visual processing speed and quantitative assessment of visual impairment in children
The ability to discern visual details fast may be essential for a child’s normal participation in school and society, but standard visual acuity tests do not adequately capture this aspect of visual processing. The aim of this thesis was, i) to quantify the development of visual processing speed in children with normal vision between five and twelve years old, and, ii) to determine whether children with visual impairment are slower in discerning visual details than children with normal vision. Furthermore, we successfully developed a high-speed stereo eye tracker to quantify oculomotor behavior in these children. We revealed important developmental effects on visual processing speed in children with normal vision between five and twelve years old with new methods to assess the speed and accuracy of visual processes simultaneously. In addition, we showed that a large number of children with visual impairments need more time to discern visual details, even if their reduced visual acuity is taken into account. We therefore argue that methods which assess the speed and accuracy of visual processes simultaneously offer valuable insight in the effect of a child’s visual impairment.