Functional Connectivity of the Precuneus Reflects Effectiveness of Visual Restitution Training in Chronic Hemianopia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hinke N HalbertsmaK. V. Haak

Abstract

Visual field defects in chronic hemianopia can improve through visual restitution training, yet not all patients benefit equally from this long and exhaustive process. Here, we asked if resting-state functional connectivity prior to visual restitution could predict training success. In two training sessions of eight weeks each, 20 patients with chronic hemianopia performed a visual discrimination task by directing spatial attention towards stimuli presented in either hemifield, while suppressing eye movements. We examined two effects: a sensitivity change in the attended (trained) minus the unattended (control) hemifield (i.e., a training-specific improvement), and an overall improvement (i.e., a total change in sensitivity after both sessions). We then identified five visual resting-state networks and evaluated their functional connectivity in relation to both training effects. We found that the functional connectivity strength between the anterior Precuneus and the Occipital Pole Network was positively related to the attention modulated (i.e., training-specific) improvement. No such relationship was found for the overall improvement or for the other visual networks of interest. Our finding suggests that the anterior Precuneus...Continue Reading

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