Electrophysiological Evidence that Abnormal Early Visual Experience Can Modify the Human Brain

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Science  25 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4088, pp. 876-878
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4088.876


Visual resolution in humans is nearly equal for vertically and horizontally oriented detail, but for some subjects there is a substantial difference in resolving power for these orientations. Although subjects who exhibit this difference invariably have ocular astigmatism, optical explanations of the effect can be ruled out. Direct evidence has been found for an electrophysiological correlate to the psychophysical finding. Subjects who have reduced resolution for a pattern of a particular orientation also show a decreased evoked potential response elicited by a target of the same orientation. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that a deficiency of specific features in the early visual input can alter the organization of the visual pathways.