The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of state on nystagmus duration following administration of the Southern California Postrotary Nystagmus Test (SCPNT). Twenty-four normal children, 12 first-graders and 12 fourth-graders, were administered the SCPNT under three conditions: aroused, relaxed, and alert (standard instructions). Six boys and six girls in each grade participated. First-grade boys and fourth-grade girls demonstrated a statistically significant response decline in the aroused condition, and a further decline in the relaxed condition as compared to the alert condition. Further analyses demonstrated that the first-grade boys accounted for most of the variance. Possible reasons for the results obtained are discussed, and suggestions are made for future research.

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