Questioning the “Critical Period”
Received wisdom says that there is a critical period after birth during which the brain is wired for sight; blindness then means blindness for life. But a new study challenges this wisdom by demonstrating that congenitally blind children up to the age of 15 years can experience substantial vision gains.
Mark Hillen |
In 1963, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, discovered that cats that had one eye sewn shut from birth to three months of age only developed full vision in the open eye (1), and that monocular deprivation caused permanent electrophysiological and anatomical changes in the cats’ brains. Sewing the eye closed after three months of age did not have this effect, so the immediate postnatal three months was named the “critical period” for vision development.
Enjoy our FREE content!
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Ophthalmologist’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Login if you already created an account
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine