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Patient G.Y. is able to discriminate emotional facial expressions presented in his blind (right) hemifield despite an extensive lesion of the corresponding (left) striate cortex. One proposal is that this residual ability (affective "blindsight") depends on a subcortical visual pathway comprising the superior colliculus, posterior (extrageniculate) thalamus and amygdala. Here we report differential amygdala responses in G.Y. to presentation of fearful and fear-conditioned faces in his blind (right) hemifield. These amygdala responses exhibited condition-dependent covariation with neural activity in the posterior thalamus and superior colliculus. Our results provide further evidence that an extrageniculostriate (colliculo-thalamo-amygdala) neural pathway can process fear-related stimuli independently of both the striate cortex and normal phenomenal visual awareness.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Brain

Publication Date

06/2001

Volume

124

Pages

1241 - 1252

Keywords

Adult, Amygdala, Avoidance Learning, Blindness, Cortical, Brain Mapping, Conditioning (Psychology), Consciousness, Emotions, Fear, Functional Laterality, Hemianopsia, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuronal Plasticity, Neuropsychological Tests, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Pulvinar, Recovery of Function, Superior Colliculi, Visual Cortex, Visual Pathways