June 1994
Volume 35, Issue 7
Articles  |   June 1994
Temporal tuning and the development of lateral interactions in the human visual system.
Author Affiliations
  • J Grose-Fifer
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College/CUNY.
  • V Zemon
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College/CUNY.
  • J Gordon
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College/CUNY.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1994, Vol.35, 2999-3010. doi:
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      J Grose-Fifer, V Zemon, J Gordon; Temporal tuning and the development of lateral interactions in the human visual system.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(7):2999-3010.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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PURPOSE: The authors examined the development of lateral interactions between neurons in the human visual system through the use of visual evoked potentials (VEPs) elicited by windmill-dartboard stimuli. Previously, these VEPs have revealed two distinct types of lateral interactions (short-range and long-range) in adults. This study aims to track the development of these interactions in the first 6 months of life. METHOD: Windmill-dartboard stimuli were generated by a computer-controlled visual stimulator and presented on an oscilloscope display. VEPs to these stimuli were obtained from a group of human infants between 14 days and 6 months of age and from a group of adults who served as a basis for comparison. Fourier analysis was used to retrieve amplitude and phase measures of the relevant frequency components of the response. RESULTS: Amplitude measures of the VEP components elicited by the windmill-dartboard stimulus showed that the attenuation of the second harmonic frequency component (reflecting long-range lateral interactions) was essentially adultlike at all temporal frequencies for the majority of infants. In contrast, the amplitude of the fundamental frequency component (thought to reflect short-range lateral interactions) exhibited a low-pass temporal tuning function in infants that differed dramatically from adults. Additional immaturities were observable in the phase of the fundamental component of the infant VEPs. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence for the presence of some degree of lateral interaction was seen in even the youngest infant. Long-range lateral interactions appear to mature rapidly in infancy, whereas short-range lateral interactions show a much longer developmental time-course, and their properties are dependent on temporal frequency.


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