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Neuroplasticity: Why is the visual cortex involved in language processing in blind individuals?

News vom 09.07.2019

People who are blind use part of their visual cortex for language and semantic processing. The visual cortex is the paradigm case of a "modality-specific" brain region, being devoted exclusively to visual perceptual processes in healthy and undeprived sighted individuals. Why should it shift its function in the blind toward higher cognition, in particular language and meaning? Researchers from the Brain Language Laboratory of the Freie Universität Berlin were able to demonstrate, using computer simulations of large-scale brain systems, how a set of biological mechanisms acting within specific neuroanatomical structures are sufficient to provide a direct and straightforward explanation for the cortical reorganization of language caused by visual deprivation.

Find the full press release HERE.

There also is a German version available HERE.

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