The relevance of visual perception to cortical evolution and development.
The quality of brightness--perhaps the simplest visual attribute we perceive--appears to be determined probabilistically. In this empirical conception of the perception of light, the stimulus-induced activity of visual cortical neurons does not encode the retinal image or the properties of the stimulus per se, but associations (percepts) determined by the relative probabilities of the possible sources of the stimulus. If this theory is correct, the rationale for the prolonged postnatal construction of visual circuitry--and the evolution of this visual scheme--is to strengthen and/or create by activity-dependent feedback the empirically determined association on which vision depends.
Purves, D; Williams, SM; Lotto, RB
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