Large-scale remapping of visual cortex is absent in adult humans with macular degeneration

Heidi A Baseler, André Gouws, Koen V Haak, Christopher Racey, Michael D Crossland, Adnan Tufail, Gary S Rubin, Frans W Cornelissen, Antony B Morland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The occipital lobe contains retinotopic representations of the visual field. The representation of the central retina in early visual areas (V1-3) is found at the occipital pole. When the central retina is lesioned in both eyes by macular degeneration, this region of visual cortex at the occipital pole is accordingly deprived of input. However, even when such lesions occur in adulthood, some visually driven activity in and around the occipital pole can be observed. It has been suggested that this activity is a result of remapping of this area so that it now responds to inputs from intact, peripheral retina. We evaluated whether or not remapping of visual cortex underlies this activity. Our functional magnetic resonance imaging results provide no evidence of remapping, questioning the contemporary view that early visual areas of the adult human brain have the capacity to reorganize extensively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Mapping
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Probability
  • Visual Cortex
  • Visual Fields

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