Autostimulation Theory

Autostimulation theory proposes that the rapid early development of the human visual system in fetuses and newborns is facilitated by sleep and the deprivation of external stimuli. Children in the womb and newborns do not experience much visual stimulation because they are asleep more than two thirds of the day.

Autostimulation theory proposes that the high activity in the brain during REM sleep helps make up for the lack of external stimulation in fetuses and newborns and contributes to the rapid development of visual systems. Research supports this theory in that babies exposed to higher levels of visual stimulation during the day spend less time in REM sleep.

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