Functional recruitment of visual cortex for sound encoded object identification in the blind

Citation:

Meijer P, Pascual-Leone A, Maguire S, Obretenova S, Battelli L, Merabet LB. Functional recruitment of visual cortex for sound encoded object identification in the blind. Neuroreport. 2009;20 :132-8. Copy at https://tinyurl.com/yd2oraag

Date Published:

Jan 28

Abstract:

Individuals using a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device (SSD) called 'The vOICe' can identify objects in their environment through images encoded by sound. We have shown that identifying objects with this SSD is associated with activation of occipital visual areas. Here, we show that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) delivered to a specific area of occipital cortex (identified by functional MRI) profoundly impairs a blind user's ability to identify objects. rTMS delivered to the same site had no effect on a visual imagery task. The task and site-specific disruptive effect of rTMS in this individual suggests that the cross-modal recruitment of occipital visual areas is functional in nature and critical to the patient's ability to process and decode the image sounds using this SSD.

Notes:

Merabet, Lotfi BBattelli, LorellaObretenova, SouzanaMaguire, SaraMeijer, PeterPascual-Leone, AlvaroK23-EY016131/EY/NEI NIH HHS/K24-RR018875/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/R01-EY12091/EY/NEI NIH HHS/R21-EY0116168/EY/NEI NIH HHS/EnglandNeuroreport. 2009 Jan 28;20(2):132-8.

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