The posterior parietal cortex contributes to visuomotor processing for saccades in blindsight macaques

Commun Biol. 2021 Mar 4;4(1):278. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-01804-z.


Patients with damage to the primary visual cortex (V1) lose visual awareness, yet retain the ability to perform visuomotor tasks, which is called "blindsight." To understand the neural mechanisms underlying this residual visuomotor function, we studied a non-human primate model of blindsight with a unilateral lesion of V1 using various oculomotor tasks. Functional brain imaging by positron emission tomography showed a significant change after V1 lesion in saccade-related visuomotor activity in the intraparietal sulcus area in the ipsi- and contralesional posterior parietal cortex. Single unit recordings in the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus (lbIPS) showed visual responses to targets in the contralateral visual field on both hemispheres. Injection of muscimol into the ipsi- or contralesional lbIPSs significantly impaired saccades to targets in the V1 lesion-affected visual field, differently from previous reports in intact animals. These results indicate that the bilateral lbIPSs contribute to visuomotor function in blindsight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Blindness / diagnostic imaging
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Blindness / psychology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Female
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Saccades*
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Visual Cortex / injuries
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Perception*