Understanding the development of the human brain in the absence of vision 

Informations pratiques
02 juillet 2024

ENS, Ribot, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris


In the rare case that both eyes fail to develop, there is a complete absence of light input to the visual system at all stages of development. This raises the question of how the brain utilises the cortical and subcortical areas that would usually process visual information. It has been shown in a number of studies that the ‘visual cortex’ of congenitally blind people is used to process ‘high-level’ auditory information such as language. In this talk I will present a series of fMRI studies in which we attempt to understand how auditory information reaches the occipital lobe. Specifically we have addressed the question of whether subcortical visual structures can also be used to convey auditory information using the visual hierarchy. I will also consider briefly how this altered brain function is reflected in auditory performance. From a developmental perspective this work provides significant insight into the extent to which the human brain can reorganise when deprived of input. 

Holly Bridge is a professor of Neuroscience at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences of the University of Oxford (UK), she is one of the leading experts in clinical visual neuroscience.

The DEC is delighted to host Prof. Bridge as invited professor starting from June 17th 2024. During her visiting time, Holly will give a series of four lectures.

  • 17/06/24, 14h30-16h30, salle Jaurès 

Understanding ‘blindsight’: investigating the pathways that allow those who are clinically blind to ‘see’ 

  • 25/06/24, 14h30-16h30, salle Ribot 

The potential for visual rehabilitation following stroke to the visual cortex 

  • 02/07/24, 14h30-16h30, salle Ribot 

Understanding the development of the human brain in the absence of vision 

  • 09/07/24, 14h30-16h30, salle Ribot 

Investigating the human binocular visual system using multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging