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Changes in rod and frame test scores recorded in schoolchildren during development--a longitudinal study.

Bagust, J., Docherty, S., Haynes, W., Telford, R. and Isableu, B., 2013. Changes in rod and frame test scores recorded in schoolchildren during development--a longitudinal study. PLoS One, 8 (5), e65321 .

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065321


The Rod and Frame Test has been used to assess the degree to which subjects rely on the visual frame of reference to perceive vertical (visual field dependence-independence perceptual style). Early investigations found children exhibited a wide range of alignment errors, which reduced as they matured. These studies used a mechanical Rod and Frame system, and presented only mean values of grouped data. The current study also considered changes in individual performance. Changes in rod alignment accuracy in 419 school children were measured using a computer-based Rod and Frame test. Each child was tested at school Grade 2 and retested in Grades 4 and 6. The results confirmed that children displayed a wide range of alignment errors, which decreased with age but did not reach the expected adult values. Although most children showed a decrease in frame dependency over the 4 years of the study, almost 20% had increased alignment errors suggesting that they were becoming more frame-dependent. Plots of individual variation (SD) against mean error allowed the sample to be divided into 4 groups; the majority with small errors and SDs; a group with small SDs, but alignments clustering around the frame angle of 18°; a group showing large errors in the opposite direction to the frame tilt; and a small number with large SDs whose alignment appeared to be random. The errors in the last 3 groups could largely be explained by alignment of the rod to different aspects of the frame. At corresponding ages females exhibited larger alignment errors than males although this did not reach statistical significance. This study confirms that children rely more heavily on the visual frame of reference for processing spatial orientation cues. Most become less frame-dependent as they mature, but there are considerable individual differences.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Age Factors ; Child ; Female ; Field Dependence-Independence ; Humans ; Longitudinal Studies ; Male ; Neuropsychological Tests
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:21504
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Oct 2014 09:19
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:49


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