Vision for perception and vision for action: Normal and unusual development

Daniel D. Dilks, James E. Hoffman, Barbara Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that visual processing is divided into the dorsal ('how') and ventral ('what') streams. We examined the normal development of these streams and their breakdown under neurological deficit by comparing performance of normally developing children and Williams syndrome individuals on two tasks: a visually guided action ('how') task, in which participants posted a card into an oriented slot, and a perception ('what') task, in which they matched a card to the slot's orientation. Results showed that all groups performed worse on the action task than the perception task, but the disparity was more pronounced in WS individuals and in normal 3-4-year-olds than in older children. These findings suggest that the 'how' system may be relatively slow to develop and more vulnerable to breakdown than the 'what' system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-486
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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