ERIC Number: ED093445
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Brain Mechanisms Involved in Early Visual Perception.
Karmel, Bernard Z.
This document presents an analysis of the early attending responses and orienting reactions of infants which can be observed at birth and shortly thereafter. Focus is on one specific orienting reaction, the early direction and maintenance of one's eyes and head toward certain stimuli instead of others. The physical properties of stimuli that control the response are discussed. Patterned stimuli are preferred over unpatterned ones, and the contour density of stimulus surfaces appears to be a crucial variable in controlling this preference. The second issue discussed concerns systematic changes in reactions to these stimuli as the child develops. Third, the question of how these specific physical properties might stimulate the developing nervous system is addressed. Electrophysiological studies are reviewed, indicating that contour density and other factors that interact with contour density do control the amplitudes in some components of visually evoked potentials (VEPs). Finally, the document proposes a possible description of how this stimulation might be brought under the self-control of the infant's own actions. The speculation focuses on (1) inhibitory loops in the brain, and (2) the developing receptive field between 4 and 5 months. (DP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A