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Journal Article

Action blindsight and antipointing in a hemianopic patient

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Smits, A., Seijdel, N., Scholte, H., Heywood, C., Kentridge, R., & de Haan, E. (2019). Action blindsight and antipointing in a hemianopic patient. Neuropsychologia, 128, 270-275. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.03.029.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-111E-4
Blindsight refers to the observation of residual visual abilities in the hemianopic field of patients without a functional V1. Given the within- and between-subject variability in the preserved abilities and the phenomenal experience of blindsight patients, the fine-grained description of the phenomenon is still debated. Here we tested a patient with established “perceptual” and “attentional” blindsight (c.f. Danckert and Rossetti, 2005). Using a pointing paradigm patient MS, who suffers from a complete left homonymous hemianopia, showed clear above chance manual localisation of ‘unseen’ targets. In addition, target presentations in his blind field led MS, on occasion, to spontaneous responses towards his sighted field. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted to evaluate the magnitude of V1 damage. Results revealed the presence of a calcarine sulcus in both hemispheres, yet his right V1 is reduced, structurally disconnected and shows no fMRI response to visual stimuli. Thus, visual stimulation of his blind field can lead to “action blindsight” and spontaneous antipointing, in absence of a functional right V1. With respect to the antipointing, we suggest that MS may have registered the stimulation and subsequently presumes it must have been in his intact half field.