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Boy Without Visual Cortex Shows Surprising Ability to See Boy Without Visual Cortex Shows Surprising Ability to See

Boy Without Visual Cortex Shows Surprising Ability to See

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In order to see, a part of the brain known as the visual cortex must receive and process signals from the optic nerve. If this part of the brain is missing, a person is unable to see. Or so scientists have believed until recently.

A seven-year-old boy in Australia has baffled scientists by showing signs of minimal eyesight. The boy, who has a rare metabolic disorder that has left him without a visual cortex, can see well enough to play certain games and recognize people. Fascinated with his case, the researchers have studied the boy and reported their findings to the Australasian Neuroscience Society. According to the research team, the boy seems to have no difficulty navigating around. Looking at him, someone would assume he has no problem with his eyesight.

Although there are cases of those who have visual cortex damage having some visual ability, this is the first known case of a person with no visual cortex exhibiting near-normal vision. The team did notice that the boy seemed to be nearsighted, though.

Scientists believe the key to the boy’s ability to see is that he lost his visual cortex early in life. They believe that other parts of his brain may be compensating for the lack of a visual cortex.

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Read 3197 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 December 2017 02:15
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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