Occipital cortex activation by long-term repetitive tactile stimulation is necessary for object recognition in blinds: A case report.

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We report the results of passive tactile stimulation, as well as rTMS, applied to a 50 year old left handed blind male with over 97% loss of vision, who suffers from Peter’s anomaly and microphthalmia. After 15 weeks of passive tactile stimulation, the subject showed increased activity in occipital areas associated with the development of visual-like perception which remained unchanged after three months without passive tactile stimulation. Inhibitory rTMS over the visual cortex led to noticeable reduction of spatial recognition performance and visual sensations in this subject. Stable changes in occipital cortical activity can be associated with subjective sensations of seeing. Once occipital activation has been achieved, it is necessary for spatial object recognition. Both facts highligh…