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Atypical retinotopic organization of visual cortex in patients with central brain damage: congenital and adult onset. J Neurosci 2013 Aug 07;33(32):13010-24



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84881152294   13 Citations


It remains unclear to what extent retinotopic maps can undergo large-scale plasticity following damage to human visual cortex. The literature has predominately focused on retinotopic changes in patients with retinal pathologies or congenital brain malformations. Yet, damage to the adult visual cortex itself is common in cases such as stroke, tumor, or trauma. To address this issue, we used a unique database of fMRI vision maps in patients with adult-onset (n=25) and congenital (n=2) pathology of the visual cortex. We identified atypical retinotopic organization in three patients (two with adult-onset, and one with congenital pathology) consisting of an expanded ipsilateral field representation that was on average 3.2 times greater than healthy controls. The expanded representations were located at the vertical meridian borders between visual areas such as V1/V2. Additionally, two of the three patients had apparently an ectopic (topographically inconsistent) representation of the ipsilateral field within lateral occipital cortex that is normally associated with visual areas V3/V3A (and possibly other areas). Both adult-onset cases had direct damage to early visual cortex itself (rather than to the afferent drive only), resulting in a mostly nonfunctional hemisphere. The congenital case had severe cortical malformation of the visual cortex and was acallosal. Our results are consistent with a competitive model in which unilateral damage to visual cortex or disruption of the transcallosal connections removes interhemispheric suppression from retino-geniculate afferents in intact visual cortex that represent the vertical meridian and ipsilateral visual field.

Author List

Reitsma DC, Mathis J, Ulmer JL, Mueller W, Maciejewski MJ, DeYoe EA


Edgar A. DeYoe PhD Adjunct Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Wade M. Mueller MD Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brain Damage, Chronic
Brain Mapping
Functional Laterality
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Longitudinal Studies
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Middle Aged
Models, Neurological
Tomography, Optical Coherence
Visual Cortex
Visual Field Tests
Visual Fields
Visual Pathways
Young Adult