Sensory Deprivation and Visual Speed: An Analysis

Science  02 Oct 1959:
Vol. 130, Issue 3379, pp. 860-861
DOI: 10.1126/science.130.3379.860


Speeds of moving objects were markedly underestimated by human observers after prolonged patternless visual stimulation. Even greater underestimation followed exposure to a "noisy" visual field; on the other hand, exposure to a hyperstable field caused overestimation. The effects of external visual noise simulate those of deprivation; this finding suggests that similarly disordered but spontaneous neural discharge dominates the visual nervous system in deprivation.