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Abstract #3956

Relationship between Visual Functional Connectivity and Duration of Blindness Depends on Onset of Visual Deprivation

Matthew C. Murphy 1 , Amy C. Nau 1 , Christopher Fisher 1 , Seong-Gi Kim 2,3 , Joel S. Schuman 1,4 , and Kevin C. Chan 1,4

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 2 Departments of Biological Sciences and Global Biomedical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea, 3 Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, 4 Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Visual deprivation is known to induce plasticity of the visual system, which can be observed through alterations in functional connectivity (FC). How these FC changes accrue over time and how this relationship between FC and duration of blindness differs between early and late acquired blindness are unknown. In this work, we modeled the effects of prior visual experience on visual FC in blind subjects. The results suggest that alterations in FC due to visual deprivation progress over time, however the direction of this progression in congenitally blind subjects is opposite to that in subjects with acquired blindness.

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