How Cats Played a Significant Role in Helping Humans Understand Visual Perception

In a recent episode of the PBS Digital Studios show Brain Craft, host Vanessa Hill explains the significant role that cats played in allowing scientists to understand how early childhood experiences affect the way humans visually perceive the physical world.

…experiments have manipulated the process of how we see objects. In cats. In cats wearing an eyepatch. In one study, a kitten reared with an eyepatch over one eye for 6 months had impaired depth perception. The cat still had two normal eyes, but a greater area of the visual cortex was devoted to analyzing information from the unpatched eye than the patched eye. The cat’s brains dedicated these nerve cells to one orientation and neglected the other. …Just like the influence of where we live, the early visual experiences of the cats shaped how they perceived the physical world.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips