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An Optokinetic Nystagmus Detection Method for Use with Young Children

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An Optokinetic Nystagmus Detection Method for Use with Young Children
The detection of vision problems in early childhood can prevent neuro-developmental disorders such as amblyopia. However, accurate clinical assessment of visual function in young children is challenging. Optokinetic Nystagmus (OKN) is a reflexive sawtooth motion of the eye that occurs in response to drifting stimuli, that may allow for objective measurement of visual function in young children if appropriate child-friendly eye tracking techniques are available. In this work we present offline tools to detect the presence and direction of the optokinetic reflex in children using consumer grade video equipment. Our methods are tested on video footage of children (N = 5 children and 20 trials) taken as they freely observed visual stimuli that induced horizontal OKN. Using results from an experienced observer as a baseline, we found the sensitivity and specificity of our OKN detection method to be 89.13% and 98.54% respectively across all trials. Our OKN detection results also compared well (85%) with results obtained from a clinically trained assessor. In conclusion, our results suggest that OKN presence and direction can be measured objectively in children by using consumer grade equipment, and readily implementable algorithms.

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