mechanisms, ignoring developmental changes at earlier stages of the visual system. The advantage of the ideal observer approach is that it reminds the researcher that there are many developmental changes that occur distal to any cortical mechanisms. These distal changes in the visual system can have substantial influence on what type of information reaches visual cortex and, in fact, may be responsible for developmental changes in many of the aspects of visual function described in the chapters by Banks and Shannon, Teller and Lindsey, Aslin, and Held.
This work was supported by NIH grant EY 05804. I thank Marty Banks and Dick Aslin for helpful discussions on the ideal observer approach, and Carl Granrud for comments on an earlier version of this chapter.
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