Cortical Maps and White Matter Tracts following Long Period of Visual Deprivation and Retinal Image Restoration

Netta Levin*, Serge O. Dumoulin, Jonathan Winawer, Robert F. Dougherty, Brian A. Wandell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Abnormal visual input during development has dramatic effects on the visual system. How does the adult visual system respond when input is corrected? MM lost his left eye and became blind in the right due to corneal damage at the age of 3. At age 46, MM regained his retinal image, but his visual abilities, even seven years following the surgery, remain severely limited, and he does not rely on vision for daily life. Neuroimaging measurements reveal several differences among MM, sighted controls, sighted monocular, and early blind subjects. We speculate that these differences stem from damage during the critical period in development of retinal neurons with small, foveal receptive fields. In this case, restoration of functional vision requires more than improving retinal image contrast. In general, visual restoration will require accounting for the developmental trajectory of the individual and the consequences of the early deprivation on cortical circuitry.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 14 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NEI EY 03164 to B.A.W., Caesarea Edmond de Rothschild foundation to N.L., LLHF 2005/2BB to S.O.D., Michael Perry, Ione Fine.




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