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Jiale Yang, Junji Watanabe, So Kanazawa, Shin'ya Nishida, Masami K. Yamaguchi; Infants' visual system nonretinotopically integrates color signals along a motion trajectory. Journal of Vision 2015;15(1):25. doi: 10.1167/15.1.25.
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© 2016 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Whereas early visual processing has been considered primarily retinotopic, recent studies have revealed significant contributions of nonretinotopic processing to the human perception of fundamental visual features. For adult vision, it has been shown that information about color, shape, and size is nonretinotipically integrated along the motion trajectory, which could bring about clear and unblurred perception of a moving object. Since this nonretinotopic processing presumably includes tight and elaborated cooperation among functional cortical modules for different visual attributes, how this processing matures in the course of brain development is an important unexplored question. Here we show that the nonretinotopic integration of color signals is fully developed in infants at five months of age. Using preferential looking, we found significantly better temporal segregation of colors for moving patterns than for flickering patterns, even when the retinal color alternation rate was the same. This effect could be ascribed to the integration of color signals along a motion trajectory. Furthermore, the infants' color segmentation performance was comparable to that of human adults. Given that both the motion processing and color vision of 5-month-old infants are still under development, our findings suggest that nonretinotopic color processing develops concurrently with basic color and motion processing. Our findings not only support the notion of an early presence of cross-modal interactions in the brain, but also indicate the early development of a purposive cross-module interaction for elegant visual computation.
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