[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based in part on deprivation studies, it is generally agreed that the development of vision and of the central visual pathways of higher mammals such as cats and primates is experience-dependent. Past deprivation experiments employed periods of exclusively abnormal early visual input. Because of the absence of any normal visual input, such studies indicate only the extremes to which the visual system can change in response to visually driven activity (i.e. its capabilities) rather than provide insight into the role of early visual input in normal development (i.e. what it actually does). We examined the possibility that certain visual input, i.e. normal concordant binocular vision, may be more efficacious than others with respect to its effects on the developing visual system and on vision. On a daily basis, one type of visual input, i.e. normal binocular experience (BE), was pitted against abnormal (monocular exposure, ME) input in order to see if one was more effective. We show that 2 h of daily normal concordant, but not discordant, BE outweighs or protects against as much as 5 h of daily abnormal input to permit the development of normal grating acuity and alignment accuracy in the two eyes. Further, we show that splitting the period of BE into two 1-h periods straddling the period of ME was ineffective, thereby indicating the 2 h of BE each day must be continuous to protect against the development of amblyopia.
European Journal of Neuroscience 06/2006; 23(9):2458-66. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of experience in the development of the central visual pathways has been explored in the past through examination of the consequences of imposed periods of continuously abnormal or biased visual input. The massive changes in the visual cortex (area 17) induced by selected early visual experience, especially monocular deprivation (MD) or experience (ME) where patterned visual input is provided to just one eye, are accompanied by profound and long-standing visual deficits. Although the use of exclusively abnormal experience permits identification of those aspects of the visual cortex and of visual function that can be influenced by visual experience during development, this approach may provide a distorted view of the nature of the role of visual experience because of the absence of any normal visual input. In this study a different approach was used whereby animals were provided daily with separate periods of normal (i.e., binocular exposure) and abnormal (monocular exposure) visual experience. We show that 2 hr of daily normal concordant binocular experience (BE) can outweigh or protect against much longer periods of monocular deprivation (MD) and permit the development of normal visual acuities in the two eyes. This result is not what would be expected if all visual input had equal influence on visual development.
Current Biology 10/2003; 13(19):1704-8. · 9.49 Impact Factor