3 years ago

Evidence from Blindness for a Cognitively Pluripotent Cortex

Cognitive neuroscience seeks to discover how cognitive functions are implemented in neural circuits. Studies of plasticity in blindness suggest that this mind–brain mapping is highly flexible during development. In blindness, ‘visual’ cortices take on higher-cognitive functions, including language and mathematics, becoming sensitive to the grammatical structure of spoken sentences and the difficulty of math equations. Visual cortex activity at rest becomes synchronized with higher-cognitive networks. Such repurposing is striking in light of the cognitive and evolutionary differences between vision, language, and mathematics. We propose that human cortices are cognitively pluripotent, that is, capable of assuming a wide range of cognitive functions. Specialization is driven by input during development, which is itself constrained by connectivity and experience. ‘The child who methodically adds two numbers from right to left, carrying a digit when necessary, may be using the same algorithm that is implemented by the wires and transistors of the cash register in the neighborhood supermarket…’ ▓▓Vision, 1982, David Marr

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1364661317301274

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.