Patrick J. Lynch [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons
During development, the eyes compete to connect with the brain’s binocular zone, and one eye sometimes prevails. This can lead to amblyopia, the most common cause of childhood visual impairment, in which the brain’s preference for the strong eye increases at the expense of the weaker eye. Patching the strong eye can help to correct amblyopia, but only during the critical period, which ends around the age of 7 years. After this, the connections are difficult to change, and visual impairment is likely to persist.
Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 344 (2013).
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