4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
    Home > Papers > Lisa Demuth
Lisa Demuth

Effects of visual deprivation in early infancy on visual and multisensory perception

Lisa Demuth
Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps University Marburg

Frank Rösler
Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg

Peter Kroll
Department of Ophthalmology, Philipps-University Marburg

Brigitte Röder
Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg

     Abstract ID Number: 85
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 26, 2003

Results from animal studies suggest that visual deprivation in the first months of life affects not only visual but also multisensory functions. People born with bilateral dense cataracts provide a model to study the effects of congenital, temporally limited visual deprivation in humans. In three experiments both complex visual and multisensory functions were examined in people treated for bilateral congenital cataract. In Experiment 1 we investigated the perception of illusory contours using Kanizsa squares. Experiments 2 and 3 examined multisensory integration for verbal (McGurk effect) and non-verbal stimuli (redundant target effect). Data from the cataract group were compared to normally sighted controls and to people with different visual impairments.
The cataract group showed (1) no pop-out effect of illusory contours in the Kanizsa task, (2) a strongly reduced McGurk effect but (3) a normal redundancy gain from the combination of visual-auditory and visual-tactile targets. These results are in accordance with the view that the development of higher order visual functions depends on early visual experience. Moreover, the present data suggest that more complex multisensory functions are more susceptible to early visual deprivation during the first months of life than less complex tasks including simple detection tasks.

    Learn more
    about this

Public Knowledge

Open Access Research
home | overview | program
papers | organization | links