Journal Article

Saccadic reaction times in infants and adults: spatiotemporal factors, gender, and inter-laboratory variation


Saccade latency is widely used across infant psychology to investigate infants’understanding of events. Interpreting particular latency values requires knowledge of standard saccadic reaction times, but there is no consensus as to typical values. This study provides standard estimates of infants’ (n=194, ages 9 to 15 months) saccadic reaction times under a range of different spatiotemporal conditions. To investigate the reliability of such standard estimates, data is collected at four laboratories in three countries. Results indicate that reactions to the appearance of a new object are much faster than reactions to the deflection of a currently fixated moving object; upward saccades are slower than downward or horizontal saccades; reactions to more peripheral stimuli are much slower; and this slowdown is greater for boys than girls. There was little decrease in saccadic reaction times between 9 and 15 month, indicating that the period of slow development which is protracted into adolescence begins in late infancy. Except for appearance and deflection differences, infant effects were weak or absent in adults (n=40). Latency estimates and spatiotemporal effects on latency were generally consistent across laboratories, but a number of lab differences in factors such as individual variation were found. Some but not all differences were attributed to minor procedural differences, highlighting the importance of replication. Confidence intervals (95%) for infants’ median reaction latencies for appearance stimuli were 242 – 250 ms and for deflection stimuli 350 – 367 ms.

Attached files


Kenward, B
Koch, F
Forssman, L
Brehm, J
Tidemann, I
Sundqvist, A
Marciszko, C
Hermansen, TK
Heimann, M
Gredebäck, G

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-05-30

© American Psychological Association, [2017]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at (

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Saccadic reaction times in infants and adults: spatiotemporal factors, gender, and inter-laboratory variation


  • Owner: Rosa Teira Paz
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 264