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Too rooted in experimental methods[edit]

This article reads as if its title should be "history of blindsight research". The standard Wikipedia mantra (and indeed, even research papers should do this) is to summarize findings across multiple studies and cite the papers. Individual discussion of each of twenty studies makes this a tedious and frankly boring read for anyone outside the field, even another neuroscientist. For example, the History section begins with the discussion of monkey studies; were there no pre-enlightenment or classical ideas about blindsight? Judging by its common rather than jargon-based name, I would wager there was a popular mythos surrounding the condition that dates back to antiquity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 6 January 2014 (UTC)


It says:

Blindsight is a condition superficially resembling blindness. In blindsight, people with damage to the visual cortex have residual visual sensitivity in a subjectively blind part of the visual field.

This implies that blindsight is active only when one lacks subjective visual qualia, and not in persons with normal eyesight. Michael Hardy 22:19, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

This page implies that blindsight is residual visual capabilities in the absence of phenomenal vision. This is too general a description, it has to be associated with damage to V1 (aka primary visual cortex, striate cortex). I'll try to re-write things to reflect this. patrickw 17:08, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Major changes[edit]

I have rewritten this entry a great deal. I apologize for not being able to keep more of it, but I am afraid that large parts of it were simply incorrect and misleading. I happy if people want to try to reincorporate parts of the old entry they feel were correct. This entry could be expanded a great deal, but at least the basics are now reasonably accurate. patrickw 18:11, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


ok this article is complicated to read. i read it and i still don't understand what blindsight is. is it where someone can't "see", but can still exhibit

"without any qualitative experience"[edit]

I would suggest to correct "without any qualitative experience" in the intro replacing with "without reporting any qualitative experience".--Pokipsy76 (talk) 11:52, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


I just added this: "Forms of blindsight can also occur when the damage is not to V1 but to another area of the visual cortex such as V4." with reference: Blind brain `sees' rapid movement, New Scientist 21 September 1996 Could a current subscriber please log in and verify that the full article really says this? I seem to remember reading it in the paper copy in 1996 but could not access it to verify my memory is correct. Silas S. Brown (talk) 12:09, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

It's best not to rely on "journalism"-style publications such as New Scientist, because they often base their stories on press releases, which often contain an element of "spin". I looked at Pubmed and found that the work you're referring to was published later that year, see PMID 9010001; moreover the full text is freely available. The abstract shows that some of your details are wrong -- the brain area involved is V5 rather than V4, and V1 actually was damaged. Had V1 been intact, the patient probably would not have been blind. Can you fix it? Regards, Looie496 (talk) 15:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I seem to have forgotten to reply to this. The statement about V4 is no longer present in the article. For what it's worth, I actually found a paper copy of the New Scientist news item (7 paragraphs), and yes it was indeed referring to Semir Zeki's research with patient GY, who had a non-functioning V1 but functioning V5. V4 was not mentioned at all; I don't know what trick my memory was playing on me to make me think it talked about V4 (perhaps I was confusing it with some random chats I had later with neurology students in the canteen). Incidentally a more recent (2011) paper by Zeki, also mentioning patient GY, is cited in the current version of the article. I agree popular science magazines are not the best sources (for example I remember when New Scientist reviewed a book called "Reverse Time Travel" by Barry Chapman and the review completely missed the fact that one of the book's main calculations somehow forgot to account for the Lorentz factor in relativistic momentum) but I suppose any source is better than none as a starting point to be improved on. I'm glad the article is better now though. Silas S. Brown (email, talk) 16:40, 20 February 2014 (UTC)


I have met a blind person who touches a piece of cloth and able to exactly tell the color of that cloth even if the cloth is multicolor. Unfortunately that person is no more alive. I think it is also some form of same blindsight. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:45, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

There are stories about people like that, not scientifically substantiated as far as I know, but in any case the word "blindsight" probably wouldn't be used to describe them -- it has a more specific meaning. Looie496 (talk) 17:38, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


I believe the role of Neuroplasticity (or "neural plasticity") is central to this phenomenon, but is not specifically noted (although implied). Comments? ~E (talk) 19:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

It's not clear to me why a role for the superior colliculus would imply neuroplasticity. Looie496 ([[User

talk:Looie496|talk]]) 03:02, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Causation of blindsight[edit]

Where I appreciate the information listed under the section entitled Theories of Causation, I will be taking it one step further and explore the what happened to an indivudual that is now suffereing from blindsight. I would like to take it past the normal internal damage to better understand blindsight.

Lkrojack (talk) 00:34, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

What you have done appears to violate WP:NOR, specifically WP:SYN. I have tagged accordingly to warn readers until resolved.  — TimL • talk 19:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Plan for future improvements and brief summary of additions[edit]

To improve the quality of this article I intend to add a section on different human case studies that concern blindsight. In addition to the information in the summary I'll provide below I also intend to add a more detailed breakdown of the different functions of vision and the dissociation of them from other visual functions as outlined in Petra Stoerig's study on different varieties of vision done in 1996. I will also add analytical summaries of other major studies conducted in regards to blindsight. Summary of future changes: Blindsight was first discovered in animals, however there have been multiple studies done on blindsight in humans. Researchers first delved into what would become the study of blindsight when it was observed that monkeys that have had their primary visual cortex removed could still seemingly discern shape, spatial location, and movement to some extent (Weiskrantz, 2007). Humans however have appeared to lose their sense of sight entirely when the visual cortex was damaged. But, researchers were able to show that human blindsight sufferers did exhibit some amount of unconscious visual recognition when they were tested using the same techniques that the researchers who studied blindsight in animals used (Weiskrantz, 2007). Researchers applied the same type of tests that were used to study blindsight in animals to a patient referred to as DB. The normal techniques that were used to assess visual acuity in humans involved asking them to verbally describe some visually recognizable aspect of an object or objects. DB was given forced-choice tasks to complete instead. This meant that even if he or she wasn’t visually conscious of the presence, location, or shape of an object they still had to attempt to guess regardless. The results of DB’s guesses—if one would even refer to them as such—showed that DB was able to determine shape and detect movement at some unconscious level, despite not being visually aware of this. DB themselves chalked up the accuracy of their guesses to be merely coincidental (Weiskrantz, 2007). The discovery of the condition known as blindsight raised questions about how different types of visual information, even unconscious information, may be affected and sometimes even unaffected by damage to different areas of the visual cortex (Stoerig, 1996). Previous studies had already demonstrated that even without conscious awareness of visual stimuli that humans could still determine certain visual features such as presence in the visual field, shape, orientation and movement (Weiskrantz, 2007). But, in a newer study evidence showed that if the damage to the visual cortex is done in areas above the primary visual cortex the conscious awareness of visual stimuli itself is not damaged (Stoerig, 1996). Blindsight is a phenomenon that shows that even when the primary visual cortex is damaged or removed a person can still perform actions guided by unconscious visual information. So even when damage is done to the area necessary for conscious awareness of visual information, other functions of the processing of these visual percepts are still available to the individual (Weiskrantz, 2007). The same also goes for damage to other areas of the visual cortex. If an area of the cortex that is responsible for a certain function is damaged it will only result in the loss of that particular function or aspect, functions that other parts of the visual cortex are responsible for remain intact (Stoerig, 1996). Jdelacour (talk) 19:26, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

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