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August 2nd, 2012


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12:24 pm - Today in Stupid Human Body Tricks.
A man had strokes take out his entire visual cortex, leaving him blind. Thing is, researchers showed he actually *could* still see - his eyes were working and he was processing visual information - he was simply unable to consciously access the information.

(From 2008/9, but new to me)

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:anton_p_nym
Date:August 2nd, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Now, if we could swap out GPUs in humans we'd be set...

-- Steve's wondering if this "blindsight" phenomenon is going to end up in a Nolan reboot of "Daredevil".
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From:the_trav
Date:August 3rd, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
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I was under the impression that we could...

Last thing I read indicated that there's a tendency for neural maps to form in certain places, but they can shift around when there's damage
[User Picture]
From:sophia8
Date:August 3rd, 2012 09:01 am (UTC)
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That's what appears to have happened in this case.
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From:jerril
Date:August 3rd, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
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The extent they can shift around isn't unlimited, but yes, there's some wiggle room. Parts of the brain that already do pattern recognition of sensory information can adapt to handle the "wrong" sense, but never as well as the tissue that's dedicated to it.

They've successfully wired rats eyes to the audio processing parts of the brain, and the rats can see... badly. Their left-right discrimination was merely terrible, their up-down discrimination was even worse; they clearly had lower resolution "sight" with no real comprehension of colour any more (as opposed to the limited colour recognition prior).

The audio cortex uses somewhat similar methods for processing audio information as the visual cortex (no big surprise, the two areas probably arose from a DNA duplication event) - IIRC it "left right" axis for pitch and the "up down" axis for something I can't remember.

It's sort of like using a microphone as a speaker (or a speaker as a microphone). It works because there's related principles underlying both, but it doesn't work very well.
[User Picture]
From:jerril
Date:August 3rd, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
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Conversely, the parts of your brain that co-ordinate your arms never take over visual processing. But if you're born without arms (or loose your arms in some way), they might "help" with co-ordinating your legs - they're pretty similar.
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From:lafinjack
Date:August 2nd, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
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There are a couple disorders out there where people are physically able to see or hear, but their brain is telling them no, no, no.

Brains are weird, man.
[User Picture]
From:skington
Date:August 3rd, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
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This popped up the other day: Scumbag Brain.
[User Picture]
From:lafinjack
Date:August 3rd, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:cosmiccat
Date:August 2nd, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
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Now if they could just wire his eyes up to a part of his brain that still works, like the auditory cortex, I wonder if he could "see" again... in the form of hearing colours. Which might be kind of monstrous. But, SCIENCE!

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