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Activation of the remaining hemisphere following stimulation of the blind hemifield in hemispherectomized subjects


, : Activation of the remaining hemisphere following stimulation of the blind hemifield in hemispherectomized subjects. Neuroimage 10(3 Pt 1): 339-346

We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural substrates mediating residual vision in the "blind" hemifield of hemispherectomized patients. The visual stimuli were semicircular gratings moving in opposite directions on a dynamic random-dot background. They were specifically constructed to eliminate intra- and extraocular light scatter and optimize the activation of extrastriate cortical areas and their subcortical relays. Multislice T2*-weighted gradient echo (GE) echoplanar imaging (EPI) images (TR/TE = 4 s/45 ms, flip angle 90 degrees ) were acquired during activation and baseline visual stimulation. An activation minus baseline subtraction was performed, and the acquired t statistic map transformed into the stereotaxic coordinate space of Talairach and Tournoux. In seven normal control subjects, right hemifield stimulation produced significant activation foci in contralateral V1/V2, V3/V3A, VP, and V5 (MT). Significant activation was also produced in homologous regions of the right occipital lobe with left hemifield stimulation. Stimulation of the intact hemifield in hemispherectomized patients resulted in activation of similar areas exclusively within the contralateral hemisphere. Stimulation of the anopic hemifield produced statistically significant activation in the ipsilateral occipital lobe (putative area V5 or MT) and areas V3/V3A in the only subject with blindsight. We conclude that the remaining hemisphere may contribute to residual visual functions in the blind hemifield of hemispherectomized patients, possibly through the collicular-pulvinar route since the activated areas are known to receive their afferents from these subcortical nuclei.

US$19.90

PMID: 10458946

DOI: 10.1006/nimg.1999.0474


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