Tomaiuolo, Francesco3; Campana, Serena4; Collins, D Louis5; Fonov, Vladimir S5; Ricciardi, Emiliano6; Sartori, Giuseppe4; Pietrini, Pietro7; Kupers, Ron1; Ptito, Maurice8
1 Klinik for Klinisk Fysiologi, Nuklearmedicin og PET, Diagnostisk Center, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark2 Neuropsykiatrisk laboratorium, Psykiatrisk Center København, Mental Health Services, The Capital Region of Denmark3 Auxilium Vitae Volterra, Volterra, Italy.4 Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.5 McGill University6 Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Surgery, Medical, Molecular, and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; MRI Lab, Fondazione Toscana 'G. Monasterio', Pisa, Italy.7 Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Surgery, Medical, Molecular, and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; Clinical Psychology Branch, Pisa University Hospital, Pisa, Italy.8 Psykiatrisk Center København, Mental Health Services, The Capital Region of Denmark
We examined the effects of visual deprivation at birth on the development of the corpus callosum in a large group of congenitally blind individuals. We acquired high-resolution T1-weighted MRI scans in 28 congenitally blind and 28 normal sighted subjects matched for age and gender. There was no overall group effect of visual deprivation on the total surface area of the corpus callosum. However, subdividing the corpus callosum into five subdivisions revealed significant regional changes in its three most posterior parts. Compared to the sighted controls, congenitally blind individuals showed a 12% reduction in the splenium, and a 20% increase in the isthmus and the posterior part of the body. A shape analysis further revealed that the bending angle of the corpus callosum was more convex in congenitally blind compared to the sighted control subjects. The observed morphometric changes in the corpus callosum are in line with the well-described cross-modal functional and structural neuroplastic changes in congenital blindness.