August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
No Grey Matter Reduction following Macular Degeneration
Author Affiliations
  • Joshua B. Julian
    Dept. of Philosophy, Tufts University
  • Daniel D. Dilks
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
  • Chris I. Baker
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, NIMH, NIH
  • Eli Peli
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School
  • Nancy Kanwisher
    McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 918. doi:
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      Joshua B. Julian, Daniel D. Dilks, Chris I. Baker, Eli Peli, Nancy Kanwisher; No Grey Matter Reduction following Macular Degeneration. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):918. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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A recent study reported that individuals with central retinal lesions due to macular degeneration (MD) showed grey matter reduction in “foveal” cortex, apparently due to the loss of bottom-up input. Here we ask whether similar structural changes are found in individuals with loss of bottom-up input due to MD, but who show functional reorganization, in which foveal cortex responds to peripherally presented stimuli. We predicted that if grey matter reduction is driven by cortical deprivation, then such structural changes should not be found in MD individuals who show functional reorganization. As predicted, we found no evidence for grey matter reduction in foveal cortex in these individuals. These findings suggest that reorganization of visual processing (i.e., the activation of foveal cortex by peripheral stimuli) may be sufficient to maintain “normal” cortical structure.

Julian, J. B. Dilks, D. D. Baker, C. I. Peli, E. Kanwisher, N. (2010). No Grey Matter Reduction following Macular Degeneration [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):918, 918a,, doi:10.1167/10.7.918. [CrossRef]
 NIH grant EY016559 (NK), and a Kirschstein-NRSA EY017507 (DDD).

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