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Vision Res. 1988;28(3):387-96.

Operant measurements of contrast sensitivity in infant macaque monkeys during normal development.

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Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.


The development of contrast sensitivity was measured longitudinally in seven Macaca nemestrina monkeys. Operant conditioning methods were used to train and then test infant monkeys from the ages of 1 to 12 months. Several changes were observed in the contrast sensitivity function, including an overall increase in sensitivity to contrast, a shift in the peak of the function toward higher spatial frequencies, and an increase in the cutoff spatial frequency. The time-courses for the changes in the contrast sensitivity function were characterized by rapid development during the first 10-20 weeks, followed by a gradual asymptotic development to adult levels over the remainder of the year. Sensitivity to contrast was found to develop with different time-courses for different spatial frequencies; sensitivity to low spatial frequencies reached adult levels much earlier than sensitivity to high spatial frequencies.

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