Everybody has the same brain anatomical structures, but size could be different…that’s what happen in the brain of a blind person.
LEPORE, N., et.al. (2010), examined 3D patterns of volume differences in the brain associated with blindness, in subjects grouped according to early and late onset. Using tensor-based morphometry, they mapped volume reductions and gains in 16 early-onset and 16 late-onset blind adults (onset <5 and >14 years old, respectively) relative to 16 matched sighted controls.
Each subject’s structural MRI was fluidly registered to a common template. Anatomical differences between groups were mapped based on statistical analysis of the resulting deformation fields revealing profound deficits in primary and secondary visual cortices for both blind groups.
Regions outside the occipital lobe showed significant hypertrophy, suggesting widespread compensatory adaptations. Early Blindness but not Late Blindness showed deficits in the splenium and the isthmus. Gains in the non-occipital white matter were more widespread in the Early Blindness. These differences may reflect regional alterations in late neurodevelopmental processes, such as myelination, that continue into adulthood. LEPORE, N., et.al. (2010), Brain structure changes visualized in early- and late-onset blind subjects. Neuroimage. [Online] 1;49 (1):134-40.
[Accessed: 5th July 2016]
Once again the neuroplasticity plays a major role giving the opportunity to strengthen the brain capacities and solve in this case a visual disability.
Ruth Talavera Flores
Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative for
the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico
IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute