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Sci Rep. 2012;2:364. doi: 10.1038/srep00364. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

The eye limits the brain's learning potential.

Author information

1
CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei.

Abstract

The concept of a critical period for visual development early in life during which sensory experience is essential to normal neural development is now well established. However recent evidence suggests that a limited degree of plasticity remains after this period and well into adulthood. Here, we ask the question, "what limits the degree of plasticity in adulthood?" Although this limit has been assumed to be due to neural factors, we show that the optical quality of the retinal image ultimately limits the brain potential for change. We correct the high-order aberrations (HOAs) normally present in the eye's optics using adaptive optics, and reveal a greater degree of neuronal plasticity than previously appreciated.

PMID:
22509464
PMCID:
PMC3326633
DOI:
10.1038/srep00364
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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