However, BI happily plays soccer and video games. "The novelty here is that BI is entirely conscious of what he sees," said Mundiñano.
So, how is this possible? Well, because BI was just a baby when he lost his primary visual cortex, it appears that the other parts of his brain compensated, adapting to provide sight. Sure enough, the team found that BI had more neural fibers between his brain’s pulvinar, which is involved in sensory signal control, and middle temporal area, which helps detect motion – two structures found close to the visual cortex.
The brains of newborns and infants are much more flexible and adaptable than adult brains. Mundiñano also told IFLScience that BI's level of vision would not be the same if he had lost his visual cortex during adulthood.
Just yesterday, we reported on the intriguing case of a boy whose brain remapped itself in response to a hand transplant. This new research is just another example of the brain’s amazing capabilities, and how it continues to surprise us even today.
[H/T: New Scientist]