(Germany)-Scientists are stunned to discover that a ten-year-old German girl’s brain has rewired itself to allow her to see out of one eye as though she has two, even though half of her brain tissue was entirely missing from birth. In a report published this week in the online version of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Lars Muckli, a neuroscientist at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, said, “Despite lacking one hemisphere, she’s capable of living a normal life.”
MRI Photo of half brainThe girl, called AH in the study, was born with only one cerebral hemisphere after the right side of her brain stopped developing at seven weeks gestation. She was also missing most of her right eye. Neurological researchers are astonished that an MRI revealed her retinal ganglion-cells “changed their predetermined crossing pattern” and re-mapped in her brain to create nearly normal bi-scopic vision.
“The human cerebral cortex,” the report says, “contains continuous topographic maps” that help the person process visual, auditory and other sensory information. “It is believed that these maps result from a self-organizing process that is supported by complex interactions between molecular cues and neuronal activity.” The fact that AH’s vision was nearly normal, “suggested a drastic reorganization” of her sensory or receptor neurons, “from the normal left eye to the intact left hemisphere.”
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