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J Physiol Paris. 2004 Jan-Jun;98(1-3):207-19.

Adaptation to left-right reversed vision rapidly activates ipsilateral visual cortex in humans.

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Brain Information Group, Kansai Advanced Research Center, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, 588-2 Iwaoka, Iwaoka-cho, Nishi-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo 651-2492, Japan.


The brain mechanisms of adaptation to visual transposition are of increasing interest, not only for research on sensory-motor coordination, but also for neuropsychological rehabilitation. Sugita [Nature 380 (1996) 523] found that after adaptation to left-right reversed vision for one and a half months, monkey V1 neurons responded to stimuli presented not only in the contralateral visual field, but also in the ipsilateral visual field. To identify the underlying neuronal mechanisms of adaptation to visual transposition, we conducted fMRI and behavioral experiments for which four adult human subjects wore left-right reversing goggles for 35/39 days, and investigated: (1) whether ipsilateral V1 activation can be induced in human adult subjects; (2) if yes, when the ipsilateral activity starts, and what kind of behavioral/psychological changes occur accompanying the ipsilateral activity; (3) whether other visual cortices also show an ipsilateral activity change. The results of behavioral experiments showed that visuomotor coordinative function and internal representation of peripersonal space rapidly adapted to the left-right reversed vision within the first or second week. Accompanying these behavioral changes, we found that both primary (V1) and extrastriate (MT/MST) visual cortex in human adults responded to visual stimuli presented in the ipsilateral visual field. In addition, the ipsilateral activity started much sooner than the one and a half months, which had been expected from the monkey neurophysiological study. The results of the present study serve as physiological evidence of large-scale, cross-hemisphere, cerebral plasticity that exists even in adult human brain.

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