The shift from local to global visual processing in 6-year-old children is associated with grey matter loss.
PLoS ONE. 2011-06-08; 6(6): e20879
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1. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20879. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020879. Epub 2011 Jun 8.
The shift from local to global visual processing in 6-year-old children is
associated with grey matter loss.
Poirel N(1), Simon G, Cassotti M, Leroux G, Perchey G, Lanoë C, Lubin A, Turbelin
MR, Rossi S, Pineau A, Houdé O.
(1)UMR 6232, CI-NAPS, CNRS, CEA, Caen University and Paris Descartes University,
BACKGROUND: A real-world visual scene consists of local elements (e.g. trees)
that are arranged coherently into a global configuration (e.g. a forest).
Children show psychological evolution from a preference for local visual
information to an adult-like preference for global visual information, with the
transition in visual preference occurring around 6 years of age. The brain
regions involved in this shift in visual preference have not been described.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to study children
during this developmental window to investigate changes in gray matter that
underlie the shift from a bias for local to global visual information.
Six-year-old children were assigned to groups according to their judgment on a
global/local task. The first group included children who still presented with
local visual processing biases, and the second group included children who showed
global visual processing biases. VBM results indicated that compared to children
with local visual processing biases, children with global visual processing
biases had a loss of gray matter in the right occipital and parietal visuospatial
CONCLUSIONS: These anatomical findings are in agreement with previous findings in
children with neurodevelopmental disorders and represent the first structural
identification of brain regions that allow healthy children to develop a global
perception of the visual world.
PMID: 21687636 [Indexed for MEDLINE]