Rapid Improvement in the Acuity of Infants After Visual Input

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Science  01 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5437, pp. 108-110
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5437.108

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Visual acuity was assessed in 28 human infants who had been deprived of all patterned visual input by cataracts in one or both eyes until they were treated at 1 week to 9 months of age. Immediately after treatment, acuity was no better than that of normal newborns. Acuity improved significantly over the next month, with some improvement apparent after as little as 1 hour of visual input. Unlike findings at older ages, the pattern of results was the same for eyes treated for monocular and for binocular deprivation. The results indicate that patterned visual input is necessary for the postnatal improvement of human visual acuity and that the onset of such input initiates rapid functional development.

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