In man and monkey, absolute cortical blindness is caused by destruction of the optic radiations and/or the primary visual cortex. It is characterized by an absence of any conscious vision, but stimuli presented inside its borders may nevertheless be processed. This unconscious vision includes neuroendocrine, reflexive, indirect and forced-choice responses which are mediated by the visual subsystems that escape the direct cerebral damage and the Ensuring degeneration. While extrastriate cortical areas participate in the mediation of the forced-choice responses, a concomitant striate cortical activation does not seem to be necessary for blindsight. Whether the loss of phenomenal vision is a necessary consequence of striate cortical destruction and whether this structure is indispensable for conscious sight are much debated questions which need to be tackled experimentally.
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