Researchers document case of blind woman who can see objects in motion

Researchers with the Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute have mapped and examined the brain of a blind woman who can see objects as long as they’re in motion.

According to Jody Culham, the team’s leader, the study “may be the richest characterization ever conducted of a single patient’s visual system.”

The 48-year-old woman examined lost her vision 18 years ago after suffering multiple strokes and a respiratory infection.

During their study, researchers learned she was missing the vast majority of her occipital lobes, but found that her brain had somehow compensated for the loss.

“We think the ‘super-highway’ for the visual system reached a dead end. But rather than shutting down her whole visual system, she developed some ‘back roads’ that could bypass the superhighway to bring some vision – especially motion – to other parts of the brain,” Culham commented.