Summary

Studies of visual plasticity in humans suggest constraints in human developmental plasticity similar to those unveiled by animal studies. (i) Visual experience during sensitive periods plays a central role. As a result, functions that have a protracted sensitive period have more opportunity to be altered by experience. (ii) There is a close correspondence between the onset of the sensitive period for a skill and the development of the neural circuitry that mediates that skill. (iii) There are different developmental time windows for different visual functions. As a result, altered visual experience affects various visual functions and systems differently, preventing gross generalization from system to system and indicating the need for separate studies of each of these systems.

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