Ontogeny of Sensory Systems

  • Timothy J. Cunningham
  • E. Hazel Murphy


The branch of neuroscience seeking relationships between the structural development of the sensory systems and the emergence of their function is still in its infancy. Although such relationships have been found, current knowledge is restricted to simple generalizations about functional capacities, such as the onset of vision or the onset of audition, and the most obvious of structural changes, such as the formation of synaptic connections between the eye or the ear and the brain. The inability to show more complicated relationships is due in part to difficulties in testing a wide variety of sensory functions in immature animals and in part to the subtlety of many of the developmental changes in the structure of neurons. Accordingly, this chapter is divided into two sections, the first focusing on anatomical structure and the second on function, both physiological and perceptual.


Visual Cortex Receptive Field Superior Colliculus Visual Experience Lateral Geniculate Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Cunningham
    • 1
  • E. Hazel Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyMedical College of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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