The development of visual feature binding processes after visual deprivation in early infancy

Vision Res. 2007 Sep;47(20):2616-26. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2007.07.002. Epub 2007 Aug 13.


Higher visual functions were investigated in patients treated for bilateral congenital cataracts in two experiments. Participants were asked to detect either real or illusory contours (Kanizsa squares in Experiment 1 or one of four different Kanizsa contours in Experiment 2) among distractor items. Compared to normally sighted participants matched for age, gender and education, cataract patients treated after the age of 5-6 months took relatively longer to detect Kanizsa figures (Experiments 1 and 2) and they had higher miss rates (Experiment 2). The present results suggest that the ability of visual feature binding depends on early visual input and is permanently impaired if patterned vision is prevented in early infancy for 5 months or more.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / psychology*
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Child Development*
  • Critical Period, Psychological
  • Female
  • Form Perception*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optical Illusions*
  • Perceptual Closure
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychophysics
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensory Deprivation