[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 10, No. 1 (2003) 53-57]
© 2003 The Optical Society of Japan

Comparison of the Visual Performance of Deaf and Hearing Children and Adults in a Detection Task

Alejandra A. SILVA-MORENO* and Francisco J. SANCHEZ-MARIN

Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Loma del Bosque 115 Col. Lomas del Campestre, León, Gto 37150, México

(Received July 8, 2002; Revised October 9, 2002; Accepted October 29, 2002)

Visual signal detection psychophysical experiments were done with hearing and deaf subjects, children and adults. Our participants were carefully selected in order to constitute samples of observers as homogeneous as possible. Criteria for selection included consistency as observers (determined by means of preliminary experiments) and age. Our experiments were done under the Two-Alternative-Forced Choice paradigm, using images with Gaussian noise of known energy as background and signals of predetermined energies. Our results suggest that the visual capabilities of deaf and hearing children are practically the same, while deaf adults, when compared to hearing adults, consistently showed higher performances, which tended to become significant as the signal energy was increased.

Key words: visual detection, 2AFC, performance index