Optokinetic nystagmus in normal and visually deprived children: Implications for cortical development.
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Ten years ago we proposed that the limitations on young infants' vision might be caused by an immature Y-pathway through the cortex, while their abilities might be mediated by an X-pathway to the cortex and by Y- and/or W-pathways to the superior colliculus and pretectum (Maurer & Lewis, 1979). Although that explanation was too simple overall, it fits well with what is known about asymmetrical optokinetic nystagmus, viz. the difficulty in eliciting OKN to patterns moving from the nasal field toward the temporal field. In this paper, we describe the development of symmetrical OKN, its alteration by early deprivation from cataract, and its physiological basis. We then suggest that, for primates, an explanation based on projections through the magnocellular versus parvocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus may be more appropriate than one based on X-, Y-, and W-cells.
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