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Neurodevelopment of the visual system in typically developing children


Klaver, P; Marcar, V; Martin, E (2011). Neurodevelopment of the visual system in typically developing children. In: Braddick, O; Atkinson, J; Innocenti, G M. Gene expression to neurobiology and behavior. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 113-136.

Abstract

A central question in developmental psychology is how a child acquires knowledge about the surrounding world. Is it important for learning to know what an object represents, before a child knows how to deal with it? Or does a child learn because it is improving haptic skills to act upon an object, to follow its actions and predict how it behaves? Behavioral research investigating such questions distinguished the role of dorsal and ventral visual streams in learning to “know how” and “know what” about objects, but these studies did not unequivocally resolve how these functions mature. Recent functional, structural, and microstructural neuroimaging research has shed a novel light on the normal development of the human visual system, particularly during later stages of child development. This chapter reviews these neuroimaging studies and interrogates them on the question of whether dorsal and ventral visual streams mature at different rates. Structural gray matter properties within the ventral visual stream show prolonged development compared to the dorsal stream, whereas white matter connectivity within dorsal visual stream structures matures later. Functionally specialized areas in the ventral visual stream show increased size during development, whereas parietal dorsal stream areas show increasing activity associated with high-order visual perception. Such results emphasize the importance of neuroimaging techniques for research on visual cognitive development. They suggest that high-order visual functions mature late and that dorsal and ventral visual streams follow different neurodevelopmental trajectories.

Abstract

A central question in developmental psychology is how a child acquires knowledge about the surrounding world. Is it important for learning to know what an object represents, before a child knows how to deal with it? Or does a child learn because it is improving haptic skills to act upon an object, to follow its actions and predict how it behaves? Behavioral research investigating such questions distinguished the role of dorsal and ventral visual streams in learning to “know how” and “know what” about objects, but these studies did not unequivocally resolve how these functions mature. Recent functional, structural, and microstructural neuroimaging research has shed a novel light on the normal development of the human visual system, particularly during later stages of child development. This chapter reviews these neuroimaging studies and interrogates them on the question of whether dorsal and ventral visual streams mature at different rates. Structural gray matter properties within the ventral visual stream show prolonged development compared to the dorsal stream, whereas white matter connectivity within dorsal visual stream structures matures later. Functionally specialized areas in the ventral visual stream show increased size during development, whereas parietal dorsal stream areas show increasing activity associated with high-order visual perception. Such results emphasize the importance of neuroimaging techniques for research on visual cognitive development. They suggest that high-order visual functions mature late and that dorsal and ventral visual streams follow different neurodevelopmental trajectories.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:27 May 2011 12:51
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 08:49
Publisher:Elsevier
Series Name:Progress in Brain Research
Number:189
ISSN:0079-6123 (P), 1875-7855 (E)
ISBN:978-0-444-53884-0

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