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Abstract #0005

Do Congenitally Blind People Have a Stria of Gennari? First in Vivo Insights on a Subcortical Level

Robert Trampel1, Derek Veit Ott1, Robert Turner1

1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

The primary visual cortex V1 is characterized by an easily identifiable anatomical landmark: the heavily myelinated stria of Gennari. Using T1, T2, T2* or phase contrast, high resolution MRI studies can routinely identify the stria of Gennari in vivo. However, the development and function of the Gennari stripe is unclear. MRI at 7 Tesla with isotropic 0.5 mm voxels was used to scan the occipital brain of sighted and congenitally blind subjects. The stria of Gennari was reliably detected in both sighted and blind subjects, showing that this anatomical feature is not a developmental result of visual input, and it does not degenerate in the absence of visual input.