Scientists proved that 'blindsight' is used in everyday life scenes

The visual information from eyes is sent into the brain unconsciously even if you are not aware. One of examples of unconscious seeing is a phenomenon of "blindsight" [Subjects have no awareness, but their brains can see ] in subjects with visual impairment, caused by the damage of a part of the brain called the visual cortex. Although it is already reported that the patients with damage in the visual cortex, who were not aware of seeing, can walk and avoid obstacles, it was not proved whether this was really blindsight. In this new study, the international collaborative research team including Assistant Professor Masatoshi Yoshiday and Professor Tadashi Isa from The National Institute for Physiological Sciences, The National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Japan and Professor Laurent Itti from the University of Southern California demonstrated that blindsight in monkeys is available not only under the specific conditions of the laboratory, but also in everyday environments. This research result will appear in Current Biology as an electronic version on June 28, 2012.

The researchers previously showed blindsight in monkeys - monkeys with damage in the visual area of the brain are able to turn their eyes to 'unseen' . At this time, the research team examined whether blindsight occurs not only under the specific conditions of the laboratory, but also in everyday environments. They recorded eye movements of the blindsight monkeys freely watching video clips of everyday life scenes. They found that the monkeys were able to turn their eyes to the prominent portions in term of motion, brightness or color. By looking at eye movements of the monkeys with visual disability, we can understand where they pay attention to, although they do not see.

Assistant Professor YOSHIDA said, "this new finding indicates that blindsight can be used in everyday life of patients with hemianopia by cerebrovascular disorder. Then, there is the possibility that patients with visual impairment can recover their hidden visual function by rehabilitation." He also said "measurement of during viewing movie clips can be an efficient method to examine how well the patients can see unconsciouly".

Related Stories

Scientists find explanation for blindsight

date Jun 25, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The rare phenomenon of blindsight has been known for a long time, but until now has never been understood. People with blindsight are effectively blind through damage to the primary visual ...

Seeing Beyond the Visual Cortex

date Apr 03, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- It's a chilling thought--losing the sense of sight because of severe injury or damage to the brain's visual cortex. But, is it possible to train a damaged or injured brain to "see" again after such a catastrophic ...

Seeing color in 'blindsight'

date Oct 27, 2008

By manipulating the brain noninvasively in a new way with magnetic stimulation, researchers have shown that they can restore some experience of color where before there was no visual awareness whatsoever. They report their ...

Recommended for you

Team makes breakthrough in understanding Canavan disease

date 15 hours ago

UC Davis investigators have settled a long-standing controversy surrounding the molecular basis of an inherited disorder that historically affected Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe but now also arises in other populations ...

Finding the body clock's molecular reset button

date 19 hours ago

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep ...

A 'GPS' to navigate the brain's neuronal networks

date 19 hours ago

In new research published today by Nature Methods, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University have announced a "Neuronal Positioning System" (NPS) that maps the circuitry of the ...

Neurons constantly rewrite their DNA

date 19 hours ago

Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor "DNA surgeries" to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.