Intact extrastriate visual network without primary visual cortex in a Rhesus macaque with naturally occurring Blindsight
Bridge H., Bell A., Ainsworth M., Sallet J., Premereur E., Ahmed B., Mitchell A., Schüffelgen U., Buckley M., Parker AJ., Krug K.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Lesions of primate primary visual cortex (V1) lead to loss of conscious visual perception, and are often devastating to those affected. Understanding the neural consequences of such damage may aid the development of rehabilitation methods. In this rare case of a Rhesus macaque (monkey S), likely born without V1, we investigated the brain structures underlying residual visual abilities using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging. In-group behaviour was unremarkable. Compared to controls, visual structures outside of monkey S’s lesion appeared normal. Visual stimulation under anaesthesia with checkerboards activated lateral geniculate nucleus of monkey S, but not the pulvinar, while full-field moving dots activated the pulvinar. Functional connectivity analysis revealed a network of bilateral dorsal visual areas temporally correlated with V5/MT, consistent across lesion and control animals. Overall, we found an intact network of visual cortical areas even without V1, but little evidence for strengthened subcortical input to V5/MT supporting residual visual function.</jats:p>