Author(s): Brown AM, Miracle JA
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Abstract The Superposition Hypothesis states that the binocular vision of newborn infants blends together the monocular visual responses of the two eyes, even when the visual stimulus evokes binocular rivalry in adults. According to the Superposition Hypothesis, this blending is replaced by binocular rivalry after the emergence of stereopsis [Neonate Cognition: Beyond the Blooming, Buzzing Confusion, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1985, p. 37; Early Visual Development Normal and Abnormal, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993, p. 201]. The main evidence for the Superposition Hypothesis is a preferential looking experiment [Vision Res., 26 (3) (1986) 501], in which 8-12-week-old infants fixated a rivalrous (for adults) dichoptic plaid, in preference over a fusible grating of parallel lines. This report describes our attempt to repeat that important experiment. Infant stereopsis emerged at 8.6 weeks under our conditions, but infants did not preferentially fixate the dichoptic plaid at any age between age 5 and 16 weeks. Control experiments showed that our result was not due to technical differences between their experiment and ours (red/green vs. polarizing glasses, the use of a fixation point, or the infant observation apparatus). Therefore, blending of the visual responses to rivalrous (for adults) stimuli is not a general feature of the pre-stereoptic infant visual system.
This article was published in Vision Res
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability