Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Vision Science

Committee Chair

Hannu R. V. Laukkanen


Several diagnostic tests in optometry categorize patient performance as pass or fail depending on how quickly and accurately he or she can verbalize targets. When testing children with such relative response time tests, a significant number fail for reasons other than visual factors. Visual-verbal automaticity, which is dependant on a patient's cognitive-linguistic processing skills, is one such factor that affects performance. The purpose of this within subject design study was to investigate the effects of automaticity upon a relative response time test using familiar vs. unfamiliar targets. We measured the relative response times of eighty-nine fourth grade and one hundred and five first grade subjects in each of four test conditions. Results indicate: (1) Data obtained from adult relative response time test studies cannot be directly applied to school age children; (2) Relative response time tests without an age appropriate automaticity baseline should be considered suspect; and (3) Additional visual-verbal response time norms for various targets need to be established for every age group.

Included in

Optometry Commons