Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Residual Visual Function after Brain Wounds involving the Central Visual Pathways in Man

Abstract

IT is generally believed that total destruction of visual cortex and optic radiations in man should lead to blindness, and that regional (subtotal) destruction should correspondingly produce circumscribed areas of blindness (“scotomata”) in the visual field1. Such areas of blindness are defined by a patient's inability to detect and report visual stimuli projected into the affected region. Standard methods of visual field testing (perimetry) suggest that such scotomata may be “absolute”, that is the patient seems to be unable to distinguish between the presence and absence of visually presented targets whenever they are presented in the scotomatous area. Suspecting that the response of the visual system may depend on the task requirements, we used a technique which requires a localizing response from the patient2, in addition to clinical perimetry. As a result, we have found evidence for the processing of information about the locus of light stimuli presented in areas of the visual field which are “blind” by the traditional definition.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Teuber, H.-L., Battersby, W. S., and Bender, M. B., Visual Field Defects after Penetrating Missile Wounds of the Brain (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1960).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  2. Held, R., in The Neurosciences—Second Study Program (edit. by Schmitt, F. O.), 317 (Rockefeller Press, New York, 1970).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Magoun, H. W., and Ranson, S. W., Arch. Ophthalmol., 13, 791 (1935).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Edinger, U., and Fischer, B., Pflügers Archiv., 152, 535 (1913).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Levinsohn, G., Zeitschrift ges. Neurol Psychiat., 20, 377 (1913).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brindley, G. S., Gautier-Smith, P. C., and Lewin, W., J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiat., 32, 259 (1969).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. ter Braak, J. W. G., Schenk, V. W. D., and van Vliet, A. G. M., J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiat., 34, 140 (1971).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Richards, W., Exp. Brain Res. (in the press).

  9. Klüver, H., Biol. Symp., 7, 253 (1942).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Sprague, J. M., Science, 153, 1544 (1966).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Humphrey, N. K., and Weiskrantz, L., Nature, 215, 595 (1967).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Schneider, G. E., Science, 163, 895 (1969).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Pasik, T., and Pasik, P., Vision Res. Suppl., 3, 419 (1971).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Killackey, H., Snyder, M., and Diamond, I. T., J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. Monog., 74, 1 (1971).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sloan, L. L., Arch. Ophthalmol., 86, 612 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Robinson, D., Proc. IEEE, 56, 1032 (1968).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

PÖPPEL, E., HELD, R. & FROST, D. Residual Visual Function after Brain Wounds involving the Central Visual Pathways in Man. Nature 243, 295–296 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1038/243295a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/243295a0

This article is cited by

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing