Breaking News
July 18, 2018 - Hunger hormones could be key to new treatments for drug, alcohol addiction
July 18, 2018 - Nitrate-cured meats may contribute to mania, study finds
July 18, 2018 - Why men may recover more quickly from influenza infections than women
July 18, 2018 - KemPharm Announces Top Line Results from KP415.E01 Efficacy and Safety Trial in Children With ADHD
July 18, 2018 - Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children
July 18, 2018 - Bioengineers, diabetes researchers convene to discuss future concepts for precision medicine
July 18, 2018 - Practicing yoga benefits pregnant women, study suggests
July 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Symtuza (D/C/F/TAF), the First and Only Complete Darunavir-Based Single-Tablet Regimen for the Treatment of HIV-1 Infection
July 18, 2018 - Deep data dive helps predict cerebral palsy
July 18, 2018 - Stricter firearm legislation associated with reduced murder and suicide rates
July 18, 2018 - Physical and sexual abuse in childhood associated with endometriosis risk
July 18, 2018 - Omega 3 supplements do not reduce risk of heart disease, stroke or death
July 18, 2018 - GSA’s new publication provides support for safe use of OTC analgesics by older adults
July 18, 2018 - Researchers receive grant from U.S. Department of Education to study children with HFASD
July 18, 2018 - Early childhood adversity increases sensitivity of the body’s immune response to cocaine
July 18, 2018 - Parental incarceration affects health behaviors of children in adulthood
July 18, 2018 - Researchers find that yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes can carry new virus
July 18, 2018 - Two Regimens Fail to Stop Declines in β-Cell Function
July 18, 2018 - Researchers apply computing power to track the spread of cancer
July 18, 2018 - Olfactory receptors play pathophysiological role in all organs than merely smell perception
July 18, 2018 - Fish consumption associated with lower risk of early death
July 18, 2018 - MR Solutions’ 7T MRI imaging system installed at University of Hawaii
July 18, 2018 - Humorous ads screened around World Cup game achieve higher biometric response than sporty ads
July 18, 2018 - New study demonstrates little effect of hormone therapy on artery thickness
July 18, 2018 - A 3-Pronged Plan to Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk
July 18, 2018 - New clues to sepsis may speed diagnosis
July 18, 2018 - Stars of Stanford Medicine: Improving cardiovascular health in Africa and beyond
July 18, 2018 - Heart attack risk continues to increase among pregnant women, study finds
July 18, 2018 - Few tips to help avoid sunburns in summer
July 18, 2018 - High-fat diet and systemic inflammation contribute to progression of prostate cancer
July 18, 2018 - Researchers develop 3D map of gene interactions that play key role in heart disease
July 18, 2018 - Conservative management of lung subsolid nodules reduces overtreatment and unnecessary surgery
July 18, 2018 - Report warns of dog illness that can spread to owners
July 18, 2018 - A winning essayist’s tips for keeping track of scientific facts
July 18, 2018 - Researchers seek to understand role of APOE mutation in Alzheimer’s disease
July 18, 2018 - Animal studies reveal brain changes responsible for appetite effects of cannabis
July 18, 2018 - New ZEISS ZEN Intellesis machine allows segmentation of correlative microscopy
July 18, 2018 - Study findings highlight importance of early detection of SMA through newborn screening
July 18, 2018 - Results of Phase III (PIX306) Trial Evaluating Progression-Free Survival of Pixuvri (pixantrone) Combined with Rituximab in Patients with Aggressive B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
July 18, 2018 - Diabetes researchers find switch for fatty liver disease
July 18, 2018 - The future of the microbiome: A conversation
July 18, 2018 - States attacking ACA would hurt most if shield on preexisting conditions were axed
July 18, 2018 - Novel delivery system for bacteriophages could offer new way to battle lung infections
July 18, 2018 - PTSD may increase risk of stroke, heart attack in World Trade Center response crews
July 18, 2018 - Finding the right protective eyewear for young athletes
July 18, 2018 - Routine screening, treatment could help stem nationwide opioid epidemic
July 17, 2018 - AI and radar technologies could help diabetics manage their disease
July 17, 2018 - New Stanford algorithm could improve diagnosis of many rare genetic diseases
July 17, 2018 - Burdensome symptoms of eczema can lead to impaired quality of life, shows study
July 17, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech and Penn State partner to advance teaching, research in biotechnology
July 17, 2018 - Researchers map family trees of cancer cells to understand how AML responds to new drug
July 17, 2018 - Mortality from heart failure remains higher in women than men
July 17, 2018 - Can-Fite BioPharma receives Australian and Chinese patents for new drug to treat erectile dysfunction
July 17, 2018 - AAP: Lawnmowers Pose Serious Injury Risk to Children
July 17, 2018 - Fewer U.S. kids are getting cavities
July 17, 2018 - Differences in brain’s reward circuit may explain social deficits in autism
July 17, 2018 - YCC researchers suggest promising treatment for two rare inherited cancer syndromes
July 17, 2018 - FAU and partners receive NIH research grant to shed light on sleep loss and metabolic disorders
July 17, 2018 - Advanced MRI technique predicts risk of disease progression in MS
July 17, 2018 - Health Tip: Microwave Safely – Drugs.com MedNews
July 17, 2018 - New target for treating heart failure identified
July 17, 2018 - Biodesign fellows simplify heart rhythm monitoring
July 17, 2018 - Study reveals new risk genes for allergic rhinitis
July 17, 2018 - Community college education can increase physician diversity and access to primary care
July 17, 2018 - Inflection Biosciences’ dual mechanism inhibitor shows promise as treatment for CLL
July 17, 2018 - Researchers uncover how cells invite corrupted proteins inside
July 17, 2018 - Large international study finds new risk genes for hay fever
July 17, 2018 - Studies show HORIBA’s new hematology analyzer improves POCT and care of oncology patients
July 17, 2018 - New website aims to make yoga safer for everyone
July 17, 2018 - Long-term survival worse for black survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest
July 17, 2018 - Stanford data analyst’s childhood inspires his research: A Q&A
July 17, 2018 - Preventability of hospital readmissions changes over time, study reveals
July 17, 2018 - Nursing notes can help predict if ICU patients will survive
July 17, 2018 - Most older adults with probable dementia found to be either undiagnosed or unaware of it
July 17, 2018 - Vallum receives FDA clearance to market PEEK spinal interbody fusion device
July 17, 2018 - Okayama University research could improve prognosis of diabetic kidney disease
July 17, 2018 - Researchers develop machine learning method to predict unknown gene functions of microbes
July 17, 2018 - Homogenous BTK occupancy assay used in tirabrutinib clinical studies
July 17, 2018 - Study identifies new genes linked to heart function and development
July 17, 2018 - NeuroTrauma Sciences and Henry Ford join hands to advance exosome technology
Study shows remarkable plasticity of the brain in finding work-arounds after catastrophic injuries

Study shows remarkable plasticity of the brain in finding work-arounds after catastrophic injuries

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Neuroscientists at Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute, have confirmed and detailed a rare case of a blind woman able to see objects – but only if in motion.

A team led by neuropsychologist Jody Culham has conducted the most extensive analysis and brain mapping to date of a blind patient, to help understand the remarkable vision of a 48-year-old Scottish woman, Milena Canning.

Canning lost her sight 18 years ago after a respiratory infection and series of strokes. Months after emerging blind from an eight-week coma, she was surprised to see the glint of a sparkly gift bag, like a flash of green lightning.

Then she began to perceive, sporadically, other moving things: her daughter’s ponytail bobbing when she walked, but not her daughter’s face; rain dripping down a window, but nothing beyond the glass; and water swirling down a drain, but not a tub already full with water.

Glaswegian ophthalmologist Gordon Dutton referred Canning to the Brain and Mind Institute in London, Canada, where tests by Culham’s team included functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to examine the real-time structure and workings of her brain.

They determined Canning has a rare phenomenon called Riddoch syndrome – in which a blind person can consciously see an object if moving but not if stationary.

“She is missing a piece of brain tissue about the size of an apple at the back of her brain – almost her entire occipital lobes, which process vision,” says Culham, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Graduate Program in Neuroscience.

“In Milena’s case, we think the ‘super-highway’ for the visual system reached a dead end. But rather than shutting down her whole visual system, she developed some ‘back roads’ that could bypass the superhighway to bring some vision – especially motion – to other parts of the brain.”

In essence, Canning’s brain is taking unexpected, unconventional detours around damaged pathways.

During the study, Canning was able to recognize the motion, direction, size and speed of balls rolled towards her; and to command her hand to open, intercept and grab them at exactly the right time. She could navigate around chairs.

Yet she inconsistently identified an object’s color, and was able only half the time to detect whether someone’s hand in front of her showed thumb-up or thumb-down.

“This work may be the richest characterization ever conducted of a single patient’s visual system,” says Culham. “She has shown this very profound recovery of vision, based on her perception of motion.”

The research shows the remarkable plasticity of the human brain in finding work-arounds after catastrophic injuries. And it suggests conventional definitions of ‘sight’ and ‘blindness’ are fuzzier than previously believed.

“Patients like Milena give us a sense of what is possible and, even more importantly, they give us a sense of what visual and cognitive functions go together,” Culham says.

For Canning, the research at BMI helps explain more about what she perceives and how her brain is continuing to change. She is able to navigate around chairs, can see a bright-shirted soccer goalie and can see steam rising from her morning cup of coffee, for example.

“I can’t see like normal people see or like I used to see. The things I’m seeing are really strange. There is something happening and my brain is trying to rewire itself or trying different pathways,” Canning says.

The research is newly published in the journal Neuropsychologia.

Source:

http://www.uwo.ca/bmi/index.html

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles