Modifications to the Visual Input That Lead to Nervous System Changes

  • Nigel W. Daw
Part of the Perspectives in Vision Research book series (PIVR)


Early in life, any optical or motor deficit that produces a degradation of the image on the retina can lead to changes in the visual cortex that enable the individual to cope with problems from the degradation. Unfortunately, such deficits are all too common. The worst are deficits where the image on the left retina is not coordinated with the image on the right retina. In such cases the visual cortex will receive mismatched signals, and either suppress one image, or change its wiring to try to bring the signals into synchrony with each other. We will briefly describe the deficits found in humans in this chapter. The next chapter considers animal models that describe the behavioral, anatomical, and physiological results of such deficits. Then, we will come back to the nature of the deficits found in humans, and describe them in more detail in the light of the mechanisms that have been discovered. Finally, the concept of a critical period will be discussed, and how the critical period varies with the deficit, and how this can affect the treatment that is used. Deficits found in humans include strabismus, anisometropia, astigmatism, myopia, and cataract.


Visual Input Congenital Cataract Optokinetic Nystagmus Binocular Fusion Vergence Movement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel W. Daw
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale University Medical SchoolNew Haven, ConnecticutUK

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