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Blind VisionThe Neuroscience of Visual Impairment$
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Zaira Cattaneo and Tomaso Vecchi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015035

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015035.001.0001

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Cortical Plasticity and Blindness

Cortical Plasticity and Blindness

Chapter:
(p.173) 8 Cortical Plasticity and Blindness
Source:
Blind Vision
Author(s):

Cattaneo Zaira

Vecchi Tomaso

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015035.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the use of different medical imaging techniques, including positron emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), evoked potentials, and transcranial magnetic stimulation for investigating the effects of cortical plasticity in blind people. It defines intramodal plasticity, which is caused by visual deprivation and enhanced auditory/tactile practice, and dicusses the role of intramodal plasticity in processing specific auditory stimuli. The chapter presents a study according to which striate and prestriate cortical regions utilize higher glucose in blind people compared with sighted people. Occipital cortex task-related activation induced in blind people through tactile imagery or Braille reading is also discussed.

Keywords:   positron emission tomography, fMRI, evoked potentials, transcranial magnetic stimulation, cortical plasticity, intramodal plasticity, occipital cortex

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