Multiple sensitive periods in the development of the primate visual system

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Science  11 Apr 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4747, pp. 235-238
DOI: 10.1126/science.3952507


Early in life, abnormal visual experience may disrupt the developmental processes required for the maturation and maintenance of normal visual function. The effects of retinal image deprivation (monocular form deprivation) on four psychophysical functions were investigated in rhesus monkeys to determine if the sensitive period is of the same duration for all types of visual information processing. The basic spectral sensitivity functions of rods and cones have relatively short sensitive periods of development (3 and 6 months) when compared to more complex functions such as monocular spatial vision or resolution (25 months) and binocular vision (greater than 25 months). Therefore, there are multiple, partially overlapping sensitive periods of development and the sensitive period for each specific visual function is probably different.