Short Description or Definition
Blindsight is a neuropsychological disorder that results from damage to the primary visual cortex (V1). Such localized cortical damage produces localized visual impairment in the patient’s visual field contralateral to the site of the damage. Critically, despite the nominal loss of vision, patients with blindsight preserve the ability to detect and discriminate visual stimuli presented in the impaired region of their visual field. Lawrence Weiskrantz’s (1986) observation of this ability to “see” stimuli in a “blind” visual field led him to refer to this disorder as “blindsight.”
There are two types of blindsight, termed Type I and Type II. Patients with Type I blindsight report no conscious awareness of stimuli presented in the damaged region of their visual field, yet preserve the ability to detect stimuli presented there. Patients with Type II blindsight report a faint conscious perception of stimuli in the damaged region of their visual...
References and Readings
- Bear, M. A., Connors, B. W., & Paradiso, M. A. (2006). Neuroscience exploring the brain. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
- Sahraie, A., Trevethan, C. T., MacLeod, M. J., Murray, A. D., Olson, J. A., & Weiskrantz, L. (2006). Increased sensitivity after repeated stimulation of residual spatial channels in blindsight. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(40), 14971–14976.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weiskrantz, L. (1986). Blindsight: A case study and its implications. Net Library, USA: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Werner, J. S., & Chalupa, L. M. (2004). The visual neurosciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar