December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Plasticity of visual cortex following large cortical resections
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tina T. Liu
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institutes of Mental Health, NIH
  • Michael C. Granovetter
    Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute
    School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • Anne Margarette S. Maallo
    Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute
  • Jason Z Fu
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institutes of Mental Health, NIH
  • Christina Patterson
    Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
  • Marlene Behrmann
    Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This research was funded by a grant (R01EY027018) from the National Eye Institute to MB and CP, by a B^2 T32 grant (T32GM081760, NIGMS) to MCG, and by a presidential fellowship from Carnegie Mellon University to TTL.
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3420. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.14.3420
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      Tina T. Liu, Michael C. Granovetter, Anne Margarette S. Maallo, Jason Z Fu, Christina Patterson, Marlene Behrmann; Plasticity of visual cortex following large cortical resections. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3420. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.14.3420.

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

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Abstract

The visual word form area (VWFA), typically located in the left ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOTC), emerges during reading acquisition and interfaces between high-level vision and language. Small lesions in the VWFA in adults result in pure alexia, indicating that this area is necessary for word reading. Paradoxically, large cortical resections in children which include the left VOTC, undertaken for the treatment for pharmaco-resistant epilepsy, do not necessarily lead to reading impairments. To understand the neural and behavioral consequences and the ensuing plasticity of resections encompassing the left or right, anterior or posterior, VOTC, we mapped category-selective activations (face, scene, object, and word) in four right-handed pediatric patients and 26 age-matched controls, and tested their intermediate and high-level vision. We report evidence of VWFA-related plasticity in two patients (SN: M, 12y; TC: F, 13-15y) with cortical resections encompassing the left VOTC: word activations were identified in the right VWFA, right inferior frontal and superior temporal gyrus in both patients . These findings contrast with the topography of left-lateralized word-processing network in two other longitudinal patients with resections in the left anterior VOTC (OT: M, 14y-18y) or in the right posterior VOTC (UD: M, 7-10y) and age-matched controls. Parallel to their functional reorganization of the word-processing network, we uncovered atypical representational structure of the category-selective organization in patients SN and TC. Furthermore, in longitudinal comparisons, competition between face and word representations was observed in the left VOTC in patient UD and in the right VOTC in patient TC. Finally, normal intermediate and higher-order perception was evident in all four patients, attesting to functional plasticity in visual cortex. Together, these findings reveal the sufficiency and reorganization of preserved cortex for normal word processing and provide insights into dynamic functional changes in extrastriate cortical architecture.

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