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Petra Vetter, Lior Reich, Amir Amedi; Spatiotopic maps in calcarine sulcus of the congenitally blind. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):125. doi: 10.1167/15.12.125.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Here we studied how congenitally blind subjects represent space in the brain and whether they have spatiotopic maps similar to the sighted. We asked 8 congenitally blind subjects to read specifically designed braille letters with a dot missing in either of the four corners of the braille grid (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left) and to represent that part of space in their imagination while we acquired fMRI BOLD signals. Preliminary results show that functional maps corresponding to the four areas of space exist in the occipital pole close to calcarine sulcus. However, the coding of these maps differs across blind subjects and also differs from the coding of retinotopic maps in the sighted. The results suggest that visual brain structures evolved to represent space through visual input in the sighted can be rewired to represent space through tactile input in the congenitally blind.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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