Improved detection following Neuro-Eye Therapy in patients with post-geniculate brain damage

Exp Brain Res. 2010 Sep;206(1):25-34. doi: 10.1007/s00221-010-2395-z. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


Damage to the optic radiation or the occipital cortex results in loss of vision in the contralateral visual field, termed partial cortical blindness or hemianopia. Previously, we have demonstrated that stimulation in the field defect using visual stimuli with optimal properties for blindsight detection can lead to increases in visual sensitivity within the blind field of a group of patients. The present study was aimed to extend the previous work by investigating the effect of positive feedback on recovery of visual sensitivity. Patients' abilities for detection of a range of spatial frequencies within their field defect were determined using a temporal two-alternative forced-choice technique, before and after a period of visual training (n = 4). Patients underwent Neuro-Eye Therapy which involved detection of temporally modulated spatial grating patches at specific retinal locations within their field defect. Three patients showed improved detection ability following visual training. Based on our previous studies, we had hypothesised that should the occipital brain lesion extend anteriorly to the thalamus, little recovery would be expected. Here, we describe one such case who showed no improvements after extensive training. The present study provides further evidence that recovery (a) can be gradual and may require a large number of training sessions (b) can be accelerated using positive feedback and (c) may be less likely to take place if the occipital damage extends anteriorly to the thalamus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Blindness / physiopathology
  • Blindness / rehabilitation
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Psychophysics / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Visual Cortex / pathology
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Young Adult