Document Detail

Early-onset binocularity in preterm infants reveals experience-dependent visual development in humans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22711824     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although there is a great deal of knowledge regarding the phylo- and ontogenetic plasticity of the neocortex, the precise nature of environmental impact on the newborn human brain is still one of the most controversial issues of neuroscience. The leading model-system of experience-dependent brain development is binocular vision, also called stereopsis. Here, we show that extra postnatal visual experience in preterm human neonates leads to a change in the developmental timing of binocular vision. The onset age of binocular function, as measured by the visual evoked response to dynamic random dot correlograms (DRDC-VEP), appears to be at around the same time after birth in preterm (4.07 mo) and full-term (3.78 mo) infants. To assess the integrity of the visual pathway in the studied infants, we also measured the latency of the visual-evoked response to pattern reversal stimuli (PR-VEP). PR-VEP latency is not affected by premature birth, demonstrating that the maturation of the visual pathway follows a preprogrammed developmental course. Despite the immaturity of the visual pathway, clearly demonstrated by the PR-VEP latencies, our DRCD-VEP data show that the visual cortex is remarkably ready to accept environmental stimulation right after birth. This early plasticity makes full use of the available extra stimulation time in preterm human infants and results in an early onset of cortical binocularity. According to our data, the developmental processes preceding the onset of binocular function are not preprogrammed, and the mechanisms turning on stereopsis are extremely experience-dependent in humans.
Gábor Jandó; Eszter Mikó-Baráth; Katalin Markó; Katalin Hollódy; Béla Török; Ilona Kovacs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-06-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-07-04     Completed Date:  2012-09-18     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  11049-52     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Physiology, University of Pécs Medical School, 7643 Pécs, Hungary.
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MeSH Terms
Depth Perception / physiology*
Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / growth & development,  physiology*
Models, Neurological
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
Photic Stimulation / methods
Reaction Time / physiology
Vision, Binocular / physiology*
Visual Cortex / growth & development,  physiology*
Visual Pathways / growth & development,  physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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