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Long-term deprivation affects visual perception and cortex


Recovery after long-term blindness was first studied1 in 1793, but few cases have been reported since2,3,4,5,6,7. We combined psychophysical and neuroimaging techniques to characterize the effects of long-term visual deprivation on human cortex.

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Figure 1: (a) MM's sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency measured psychophysically using a method of adjustment 5–21 months after surgery.
Figure 2: Stimuli, tasks and performance for tests of MM's form, depth and motion processing.
Figure 3: Left hemisphere activation in response to faces versus objects, regions responding at a coherence value above 0.4.


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Thanks to V. Iragui for performing VEP and ERG studies, and to S.A. Anstis, E. Holland and H.S. Smallman for help and advice.

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Correspondence to Ione Fine.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1.

Eye-tracking traces for MM and a normal control observer viewing wedge and ring retinotopic mapping stimuli. (a) x and y traces while MM viewed the expanding ring stimulus. (b) x and y traces while MM viewed the rotating wedge stimulus. (c) x and y traces while a control observer viewed the expanding ring stimulus. (GIF 74 kb)

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Fine, I., Wade, A., Brewer, A. et al. Long-term deprivation affects visual perception and cortex. Nat Neurosci 6, 915–916 (2003).

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