Visual Development, Infant

  • Richard Held
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


The question “What can infants see” has long intrigued laymen and scientists alike. In recent decades a surge of new results in vision research has deepened the importance of the question and begun to provide answers. Knowledge of the status of infants’ vision, its development, and the underlying neuronal mechanisms is gained by noninvasive procedures, with the exceptions of anatomical studies of postmortem tissue. Otherwise, our knowledge has been based upon observations aided by instruments, psychophysical studies, and electrophysiology done with scalp electrodes. Inferences about neuronal mechanisms are often guided by physiological and anatomical knowledge obtained from animal studies, in particular, those performed on primates. In addition to its scientific interest, the study of normal and abnormal visual development is of clinical importance in interpreting the deleterious effects of early pathologies of significant incidence in infants, such as strabismus, anisometropia, high refractive errors, and congenital cataract.


Spatial Frequency Contrast Sensitivity Binocular Rivalry Neuronal Mechanism Visual Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further reading

  1. Aslin RN, Alberts JR, Petersen MR, eds (1981): Development of Perception: Psychobiological Perspectives. Vol 2: The Visual System. In: Behavioral Biology, JL McGaugh, JC Fentress, and JP Hegmann, series eds. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson J (1984): Human visual development over the first 6 months of life: A review and a hypothesis. Human Neurobiol 3: 61–74Google Scholar
  3. Behav Brain Res (1983): Special issue on development of visual functions in infants and children 10:1Google Scholar
  4. Preparation of this review was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (No. 2 ROl-EY 01191).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Held

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations