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date: 21 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Visual development is considered as a neurobiological process, integrated into developing systems for cognition, action and attention. The onset in early months of selective processing of orientation, motion, color and binocular vision, and of selective oculomotor control, reflect the emergence of cortical visual systems that modulate and control earlier subcortical systems. The interacting development of acuity and optical focussing also reflects this neural development. Infants’ development of vernier acuity, figure-ground segmentation, face processing, 3D shape and depth perception is also reviewed. Analysis of global pattern and motion processing indicates the relative development of cortical dorsal and ventral streams, from early infancy through middle childhood, and reveals ‘dorsal stream vulnerability’ in developmental disorders. Dorsal stream development includes specialised visuo-motor modules for eye movements, reaching and grasping, and locomotion, and these interact closely with the development of attention systems. Finally, areas of potential progress in future research on visual development are discussed.

Keywords: infant vision, cortical development, visual acuity, orientation, motion perception, binocularity, visuomotor modules, global processing, dorsal and ventral stream development, dorsal stream vulnerability, spatial location memory, plasticity

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