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Orientation-specific cortical responses develop earlier in infancy than motion-specific responses. The maturation of orientation-reversal and direction-reversal visual evoked potentials was evaluated in 17 healthy, low risk, preterm infants (born <32 weeks gestation), compared with a group of 26 infants born at term. Both groups were studied at a corrected age of 2-4 months. The age function and magnitude of the orientation-reversal responses was similar in the two groups. Direction-reversal responses across the age range, however, were smaller in the preterm infants, suggesting a delayed maturation of motion processing. Reasons for the vulnerability of motion processing are discussed; the results may reflect anomalies of white matter development in preterm infants that are undetected by ultrasonography.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1975 - 1979


Aging, Brain Mapping, Developmental Disabilities, Electroencephalography, Evoked Potentials, Visual, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Male, Motion Perception, Nerve Fibers, Myelinated, Neuropsychological Tests, Orientation, Photic Stimulation, Reaction Time, Time Factors, Visual Cortex, Visual Pathways