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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Jan 2;183(1-2):143-6.

Visual cortex activation in blind humans during sound discrimination.

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Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


We used a whole-scalp magnetometer with 122 planar gradiometers to study the activity of the visual cortex of five blind humans deprived of visual input since early infancy. Magnetic responses were recorded to pitch changes in a sound sequence when the subjects were either counting these changes or ignoring the stimuli. In two of the blind subjects, magnetic resonance images were also obtained, showing normal visual cortex macroanatomy. In these subjects, the magnetic responses to counted pitch changes were located at visual and temporal cortices whereas ignored pitch changes activated the temporal cortices almost exclusively. Also in two of the other three blind, the visual-cortex activation was detectable in the auditory counting task. Our results suggest that the visual cortex of blind humans can participate in auditory discrimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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