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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Motion perception in children with foetal alcohol syndrome

To evaluate the visual magnocellular pathway by a coherent motion perception test in children with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Eighty-nine children (49 with verified FAS and 40 without FAS) aged from 10 to 16 years were included into the study. Both the study and the control group were children living in orphanages. A coherent motion perception test was used. The test consisted of 150 white moving dots on a black background presented in different signal-to-noise ratio conditions. The task was direction detection of the coherently moving dots whose percentage decreased at each step.

A significant difference between the two groups was found (p = 0.018). Children with FAS had lower coherent motion perception ability in all the signal-to-noise ratio conditions. A significant difference between difficulty levels (p < 0.001) was found for all subjects in both groups – decreasing the stimulus signal-to-noise level decreased the motion perception score. In both groups, the motion perception score differed for vertical and horizontal stimuli (p = 0.003) with better performance with vertical stimuli.

Impaired motion perception in FAS children could be indicative of a dorsal stream developmental dysfunction resulting from alcohol brain damage.

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