Psychophysiology and imaging of visual cortical functions in the blind: a review

Stephanie L Simon-Dack, P Dennis Rodriguez, Wolfgang A Teder-Sälejärvi
2008 Behavioural Neurology  
Imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and psychophysiological recordings of the congenitally blind have confirmed functional activation of the visual cortex but have not extensively explained the functional significance of these activation patterns in detail. This review systematically examines research on the role of the visual cortex in processing spatial and non-visual information, highlighting research on individuals with early and late onset blindness. Here, we concentrate on the
more » ... ods utilized in studying visual cortical activation in early blind participants, including positron emissions tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and electrophysiological data, specifically event-related potentials (ERPs). This paper summarizes and discusses findings of these studies. We hypothesize how mechanisms of cortical plasticity are expressed in congenitally in comparison to adventitiously blind and short-term visually deprived sighted participants and discuss potential approaches for further investigation of these mechanisms in future research.
doi:10.3233/ben-2008-0217 pmid:19641244 pmcid:PMC5452482 fatcat:puqce6nfdbb4fngpmfffb62w7q