Contrast thresholds in infants and adults related to dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin
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Infants (N= 9) (age range = 121-277 days) and adults (N=9) (age range = 20-27 yrs) were assessed. Amount of breast milk consumed was assessed in order to examine indirectly the role of macular pigment optical density. Infants and adults were tested using a two-alternative forced choice staircase method in combination with preferential looking (for infants) to a mid wave (550nm) target located at the center of one of two short wave (460nm) surrounds to determine threshold for visual sensitivity. Infants and adults did not differ in sensitivity to the stimulus F(1, 16) = 3.25, p= .09. The correlation between sensitivity and the amount of breast milk was r = .56, p = .12. Infants are capable of detecting contrasts between a mid-wave target and short-wave surround. Amount of breast milk consumed, correlated (although not significantly) with sensitivity levels in infants, supporting the hypothesis that macular pigment levels influence the task.