Letter | Published:

Visual acuity development coincides with the sensitive period in kittens

Abstract

AT about ten days of age when a kitten's eyes open, synaptic connections of its visual system are partly laid down1. They are completely developed during the sensitive period2 which lasts from about three weeks of age to three months. During this period of plasticity the formation and modification of synaptic connections respond to features in the visual environment3–6. Both the original and subsequently developed connections may be disrupted or modified by environmental factors during the sensitive or critical period with a sensitivity that peaks at about the fourth week and gradually drops off2.

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