Navigation Links
New study challenges 'critical period' in childhood vision development

Understanding how the human brain learns to perceive objects is one of the ultimate challenges in neuroscience. In 2003, Pawan Sinha, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, launched an initiative with the hopes of shedding some light on the acquisition of visual skills. The goal of his "Project Prakash" is to find, treat, and study congenitally blind children in India. A unique case study that resulted from this project appears in the December 2006 issue of Psychological Science.

Dr. Sinha and two graduate students, Yuri Ostrovsky and Aaron Andalman, were introduced to a woman in India who was born blind due to dense congenital cataracts in both eyes. The woman lived as a blind child for 12 years before she received treatment. Now, twenty years after her surgery, the researchers found that she is able to discern between separate objects, determine depth, localize faces amongst a background of natural scenes, and match faces by their identity. This case demonstrated that a person can acquire visual function even after being deprived of sight for an extended period during childhood.

The evidence gathered from this case study presents a scientific alternative to the widely noted "critical period" that the brain undergoes during childhood. The critical period theory asserts that the brain's learning mechanisms are significantly dependent on early sensory stimulation. Sinha and his colleagues posit that while some aspects of vision, such as acuity, might indeed be subject to critical periods, many other aspects of functional vision might be learnable even at later ages. In other words, perhaps our brain is not as rigid as we think, and its plasticity remains even after several years of compromised sensory experience. The results of this study provide an argument for even late-stage blindness treatments and guide researchers towards an improved understanding of the complexities of the brain.


'"/>

Source:Association for Psychological Science


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
2. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
3. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
4. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
5. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
6. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
7. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
8. Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication
9. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
10. A new study examines how shared pathogens affect host populations
11. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/18/2014)... Wis. No matter how many times it,s ... social, communicating creatures. , But by using ... organisms radically alter their behavior to suit their ... of them are present, and act accordingly. , ... millions, it may change from innocuous to pathogenic, ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... turned its newborn screening program into a model other states ... the first-ever Newborn Screening Quality Award from the March of ... M.P.H., Arizona,s Department of Health Services director, with the award ... policy of full transparency for the length of time it ... lab for analysis, and set a target of having 95 ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... global cycles of carbon and nitrogen comprise all ... and environmental systems have caused imbalances and perturbations ... gases (GHGs). Increased GHGs result in climate changes ... ecosystems, oceans and the atmosphere. Understanding these feedback ... branch of environmental science during the past three ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Researchers study vital 'on/off switches' that control when bacteria turn deadly 2Researchers study vital 'on/off switches' that control when bacteria turn deadly 3March of Dimes honors Arizona with first-ever newborn screening award 2March of Dimes honors Arizona with first-ever newborn screening award 3Greenhouse gas research enters a new era 2
... from the University of Southern Denmark have identified how a ... in a cell,s membrane. Such holes cause high blood pressure, ... medication for high blood pressure. High blood pressure can ... a specific mutated protein. Now the researchers at University of ...
... suffer from the consequences of maternal drug exposure during pregnancy, ... used substances. This motivated the study, published in the ... to decipher the molecular basis of how the major psychoactive ... brain development of the unborn foetus. The study ...
... have engineered an efficient and environmentally friendly catalyst for ... extensively in modern industry to manufacture fertilizer and refine ... element, it is generally not found as the pure ... (H2O) or to carbon in methane (CH4), the primary ...
Cached Biology News:Punctured cell membranes lead to high blood pressure 2Cannabis during pregnancy endangers fetal brain development 2Engineers teach old chemical new tricks to make cleaner fuels, fertilizers 2Engineers teach old chemical new tricks to make cleaner fuels, fertilizers 3Engineers teach old chemical new tricks to make cleaner fuels, fertilizers 4
(Date:9/18/2014)... About POCT POCT, ... clinical laboratory. It helps in making fast clinical ... medication. POCT is gaining popularity due to the ... as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It is ... to minimize errors during the diagnosis of patients. ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... Ireland , September 18, 2014 ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/czvg3s/biocompatible ) has ... "Biocompatible Materials - Global Strategic Business ... ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) ,This report analyzes ... in US$ Million by the following ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... 18, 2014 Research and Markets ... "Global N-acetylcysteine Industry Report 2014" report to ... Industry Report 2014 is a professional and in-depth ... N-acetylcysteine industry. The report provides a ... applications and industry chain structure. The N-acetylcysteine market ...
(Date:9/18/2014)...  U.S. biotech company Kultevat has strengthened ... technology developed by the Donald Danforth Plant Science ... for applications in production of natural rubber in ... developed under the direction of Roger Beachy , ... of the Danforth Plant Science Center, and is used ...
Breaking Biology Technology:POCT Market in China 2014-2018 2Biocompatible Materials - Global Strategic Business Report 2014 2Biocompatible Materials - Global Strategic Business Report 2014 3Global N-acetylcysteine Industry Report 2014 2Kultevat obtains license of gene switch technology 2
... a provider of single-molecule DNA analysis technology, announced Thursday it ... of brain tumor, known as oligodendroglioma. OpGen, based in Madison, ... and professor of genetics and chemistry at the University of ... , ,Optical mapping, invented by Schwartz, will enable researchers to ...
... investors, and media is a leading indicator, the technology market is ... when he said DEMO 2004 felt "like a bit of the ... were repeated by dozens of attendees who talked to or emailed ... this industry unlike any we've felt in the past 36 months. ...
... to offshore outsourcing as an issue du jour. I ... (an election year at that for America) due to ... future of the U.S. Prominent voices along every point ... Democratic presidential nomination to the Bush Administration and a ...
Cached Biology Technology:OpGen joins UW, Henry Ford Heath in Improving Brain Tumor Treatment 2The Tech Market is Looking Up 2The Tech Market is Looking Up 3The Tech Market is Looking Up 4The Great Offshore Outsourcing Debate 2
... For use with suspension ... RiboCap™ uses vacuum filtration or ... culture media. Compatible with ... available in larger package sizes ...
... Captivate magnetic separator for ... used in conjunction with the ... C-21476) or other magnetic particles ... 96-well microplates. Cell Biology Cell ...
RABBIT ANTI RAT AQUAPORIN 5...
MOUSE ANTI S. NEWPORT SALMONELLA HADAR...
Biology Products: