gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Blind sight: occipital cortex development in blind children

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author N. Boyle - Fellow Paediatric and Strabismus Service Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogSA.10.05

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Boyle.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Damage to the occipital lobe of the brain results in hemianopia when unilateral and blindness when bilateral. In some cases however a degree of visual function persists in the blind visual field. We aim to describe this phenomenon of blindsight in a cohort of brain damaged children and to relate the clinical features to their visual evoked potential results.


A retrospective analysis of 541 case records of children referred to a tertiary vision assessment clinic in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow from 1992 to 2002 was carried out.


In 19 blind and 4 hemianopic children evidence of perception of movement in the blind visual field was found and is described. Flash visual evoked potentials varied from no response to normal and did not correlate with visual behaviour.


Recognition, detection and usage of this phenomenon in children is vital to their rehabilitation and interaction with their surroundings.