We examined developmental differences in smooth
pursuit eye tracking proficiency in a large sample of preadolescent,
adolescent, and adult males. Smooth pursuit was quantified
using general measures of oculomotor functioning and by
examining the frequency and dynamic characteristics of
specific saccadic events. Examination of age effects using
general measures indicated that, by late adolescence, the
smooth pursuit system reached adult levels of functioning.
No significant differences were found between the adolescent
and adult groups on most global measures. However, both
groups had better eye tracking than the preadolescent group,
suggesting that during preadolescence the oculomotor system
is still developing and is not yet capable of optimal performance.
Examination of the frequency and dynamic characteristics
of the saccadic events yielded additional information regarding
the nature of the smooth pursuit eye tracking differences
of the three age groups.