Deviant smooth pursuit in preschool children exposed prenatally to methadone or buprenorphine and tobacco affects integrative visuomotor capabilities
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2013
©2013 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Society for the Study of Addiction
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Volume 108, Issue 12, pages 2175–2182, December 2013
How to Cite
Melinder, A., Konijnenberg, C. and Sarfi, M. (2013), Deviant smooth pursuit in preschool children exposed prenatally to methadone or buprenorphine and tobacco affects integrative visuomotor capabilities. Addiction, 108: 2175–2182. doi: 10.1111/add.12267
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 4 JUN 2013 08:40PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 28 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 20 DEC 2012
- Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. Grant Number: 06/34707
- Norwegian Research Council
- eye tracking;
- smooth pursuit;
Background and aims
Although an increasing number of children are born to mothers in opioid maintenance therapy (OMT), little is known about the long-term effects of these opioids. Previous studies suggest an association between prenatal OMT exposure and difficulties in eye movement control. Also, the effects of tobacco smoking on eye movements have been reported. The present study examined the influence of eye movements, i.e. smooth pursuit, on visuomotor capabilities in children of smoking mothers in OMT.
The study comprised a 2 (OMT versus contrast group) × 2 (slow versus fast smooth pursuit) between-subject factorial design.
The cognitive developmental research unit at the University of Oslo, Norway.
Participants were 26 4-year-old children of tobacco-smoking women in OMT and 23 non-exposed 4-year-old children, with non-smoking mothers, matched by gender and age.
Eye movements and smooth pursuit were recorded using a Tobii 1750 eyetracker. Visuomotor functions were examined by Bender test.
The OMT group tracked slowly moving objects with smooth pursuit in a similar manner to their non-exposed peers. When fast smooth pursuit was measured, the OMT group of children tracked the object more slowly than the contrast group, P = 0.02, ηp2 = 0.11. A regression analysis showed that fast smooth pursuit predicted children's performance on a visuomotor task, R2 = 0.37.
Impaired eye-tracking skills in 4-year-old children exposed to methadone or buprenorphine and tobacco prenatally could inhibit the development of some cognitive functions in later life.