Striate cortex, extrastriate cortex, and colliculus: some new approaches
Many aspects of visual development over the first months of life can be understood in terms of visual function becoming increasingly dominated by cortical processes. More recent formulations have developed this idea in terms of cortical processes modulating continuing visual functions of subcortical structures and of differential development of distinct visual cortical streams and areas. One important source of evidence for visual cortical development is the development of capabilities that require the specific kinds of stimulus selectivity found in cortical neurons. These include selectivity for orientation, for directional motion selectivity, and binocular disparity. This chapter concentrates on three other lines of evidence; from the control of shifts in visual attention, from optokinetic responses in children with localized brain damage, and from sensitivity to ‘second-order’ stimuli that are presumed to require relatively elaborate cortical processing. These new kinds of evidence are consistent with the broad idea of increasing cortical dominance in the early months but also make clear that the developmental relationships between cortical and subcortical processing, and between cortical areas, are complex ones.
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