Blindsight

Blindsight: What accounts for blindsight: cortical preservation or subcortical routes?

Blindsight:Blindsight is conditions in which patients that are perceptually and cortically blind nevertheless display residual visual abilities within their scotomas or blindness areas (Azzopardi and Cowey, 2001). Although these patients have no conscious vision because of damage to the primary visual corticex or striate corticex, area V1), they still respond to some visual stimuli as if they are able to see them.

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This condition has proved to be a difficult study extensively since cortical blindness (without extreme damage to other brain tasks) is a rare condition. Additionally, since blind patients do not realize when they have an unconscious visual function, they maintain that they cannot see anything, and therefore, are identified only as possessing blindsight when they correctly answer in forced-choice reaction to stimuli. Due to this, blindsight was at first doubted by most scientists. Currently, however, it is generally accepted by many as a valid condition, and it has been revealed that residual vision is perhaps present to some extent in most patients with occipital damage (Rees 2008).

Whatever the cause, many philosophers, and scientists similarly have identified blindsight as an interesting clue to the vagueness of the nature of human consciousness and visual processing.

References
Azzopardi, P. and Cowey, A. (2001) Motion discrimination in cortically blind patients. Brain, 124: 30–46.

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