Fetal eye movements in response to a visual stimulus

Donovan, Tim ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4112-861X , Dunn, Kirsty, Penman, Amy, Young, Robert and Reid, Vincent (2020) Fetal eye movements in response to a visual stimulus. Brain and Behavior, 10 (8). e01676.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1676


Introduction: In 2D ultrasound the lens of the fetal eye can be distinguished as white circles within the hypoechoic eyeball, and eye movements can be visualised from about 15 weeks’ gestation. It has been shown that from 31 weeks gestational age the fetal sensory system is capable of directed vision if enough light is available.

Methods: We have developed a light source for delivering visual stimuli to be seen by the fetal eye, using laser dot diodes emitting at 650 nm. The 2D component of 94 fetal ultrasound scans (mean gestational age 240 days), where the light stimulus was presented, was coded to determine whether the eyes moved in response to the stimuli independent of any head movement.

Results: The light stimulus significantly provoked head and eye movements, but after the light was withdrawn the head stopped moving, yet the eyes continued to move.

Conclusion: This provides evidence for visual attention mechanisms that can be controlled through eye movements that are independent of head movements prior to birth.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Brain and Behavior
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
ISSN: 2157-9032
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Tim Donovan
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 13:59
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 16:34
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5599


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