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Humans' (and other mammals') brains are devoted to a large part to visual processing.

Vision is an important if not the most important source of sensory input for humans' (and other mammals').

One of the goals of science is human understanding.

Without human understanding, at least one goal of science is not fulfilled.

Newborns track schematic, face-like visual stimuli in the periphery, up to one month of age. They start tracking such stimuli in central vision after about 2 months. and stop after 5.

According to Johnson and Morton, there are two visual pathways for face detection: the primary cortical pathway and one through SC and pulvinar.

The cortical pathway is called CONLEARN and is theorized to be plastic, whereas the sub-cortical pathway is called CONSPEC and is thought to be fixed and genetically predisposed to detect conspecific faces.

Most non-primate mammals do not have specialized photoreceptors for the medium-wavelength band. Most primates do.

There are fine-structure and envelope ITDs. Humans are sensitive to both, but do not weight envelope ITDs very strongly when localizing sound sources.

Some congenitally unilaterally deaf people develop close-to-normal auditory localization capabilities. These people probably learn to use spectral SSL cues.

Humans use a variety of cues to estimate the distance to a sound source. This estimate is much less precise than estimates of the direction towards the sound source.

According to Patrick Winston, our mental development suddenly diverged from that of the Neanderthals and that raises two central questions: What makes us different from other primates and what is similar.

Human children often react to multi-sensory stimuli faster than they do to uni-sensory stimuli. However, the latencies they exhibit up to a certain age do not violate the race model as they do in adult humans.

Different parts of the visual field feed into the cortical and subcortical visual pathways more or less strongly in humans.

The nasal part of the visual field feeds more into the cortical pathway while the peripheral part feeds more into the sub-cortical pathway.

In one experiment, newborns reacted to faces only if they were (exclusively) visible in their peripheral visual field, supporting the theory that the sub-cortical pathway of visual processing plays a major role in orienting towards faces in newborns.

It makes sense that sub-cortical visual processing uses peripheral information more than cortical processing:

  • sub-cortical processing is concerned with latent monitoring of the environment for potential dangers (or conspecifiics)
  • sub-cortical processing is concerned with watching the environment and guiding attention in cortical processing.