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Evidence of a retinotopic organization of early visual cortex but impaired extrastriate processing in sight recovery individuals

Sourav, Suddha and Bottari, Davide and Kekunnaya, Ramesh and Röder, Brigitte Evidence of a retinotopic organization of early visual cortex but impaired extrastriate processing in sight recovery individuals. Journal of Vision, 18 (22). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1534-7362 (2018)

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Numerous studies in visually deprived nonhuman animals have demonstrated sensitive periods for the functional development of the early visual cortex. However, in humans it is yet unknown which visual areas are shaped to which degree based on visual experience. The present study investigated the functional organization and processing capacities of early visual cortex in sight recovery individuals with either a history of congenital cataracts (CC) or late onset cataracts (developmental cataracts, DC). Visual event-related potentials (VERPs) were recorded to grating stimuli which were flashed in one of the four quadrants of the visual field. Participants had to detect rarely occurring grating orientations. The CC individuals showed the expected polarity reversal of the C1 wave between upper and lower visual field stimuli at the typical latency range. Since the C1 has been proposed to originate in the early retinotopic visual cortex, we concluded that one basic feature of the retinotopic organization, upper versus lower visual field organization, is spared in CC individuals. Group differences in the size and topography of the C1 effect, however, suggested a less precise functional tuning. The P1 wave, which has been associated with extrastriate visual cortex processing, was significantly attenuated in CC but not in DC individuals compared to typically sighted controls. The present study thus provides evidence for fundamental aspects of retinotopic processing in humans being independent of developmental vision. We suggest that visual impairments in sight recovery individuals may predominantly arise at higher cortical processing stages.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Research Area: Computer Science and Applications
Depositing User: Ms T. Iannizzi
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 07:36
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2018 07:36
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/4068

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