Abstract

The development of spatial contrast sensitivity in human and monkey infants reveals changes in the properties of underlying contrast-detection mechanisms in the visual system. A reanalysis of published data shows that the development of the spatial contrast sensitivity function can be described satisfactorily by the simultaneous vertical and horizontal scaling of a template function whose shape on a log–log axis does not change during development. Because individuals differ in the point to which contrast sensitivity has developed at any particular time, the use of group-averaged data as a basis for estimating the course of the developmental process has two undesirable results. First, it provides estimates of spatial contrast sensitivity during development that do not reflect any individual’s sensitivity. Second, it incorrectly suggests that the shape of the spatial contrast sensitivity function changes during development.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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