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Subspecialties Basic & Translational Research, Neuro-ophthalmology

Beyond the “Critical Period”

It’s now more than half a century since David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel discovered that sewing a newborn kitten’s eye shut for the first three months of its life led to two things: full vision only developing in the open eye, and that this monocular deprivation leads to permanent electrophysiological and anatomical changes in the cat’s brain. Crucially, these changes were not seen if the eye was sewn shut closed after three months of age, so the immediate postnatal three months was named the “critical period” (or “sensitive period”) for vision development.

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