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Visual Syndromes After Stroke: Cortical Blindness and Blindsight

Speaker: Dr Amy Brodtmann, Florey Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

The widely distributed nature of the human visual system renders it vulnerable to injury. Visual field deficits are common after stroke, as are a range of other visual syndromes. Damage to heteromodal cortical regions - downstream from the primary visual cortex - produce a range of visual symptoms. Cortical blindness is rare, as it usually results from bilateral infarction, yet yields fascinating insights into visual processing. Blindsight - the ability to perceive motion or objects within a "blind" visual field - is also a subject of fierce debate within the visual neuroscience community. In this talk, I present an introduction to the anatomy of visual deficits after stroke from the perspective of a stroke clinician, before presenting a case of cortical blindness. Its phenomenology will be discussed and contrasted with blindsight.

Dr Amy Brodtmann is Co-Division Head of Behavioural Neuroscience and NHMRC Clinical Career Development Fellow at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia. She is a stroke and cognitive neurologist at Austin Health and Director of the Eastern Cognitive Disorders clinic. She has received many awards and grants for her work in stroke and dementia, including Project grants and both NHMRC Post-Graduate and Post-Doctorate Fellowships.

She sits on the editorial boards of Neurology and the International Journal of Stroke, the research board of Alzheimer's Australia Victoria, is an inaugural member of the Wicking Strategic Review Panel, and is the founding director of the Australian Frontotemporal Dementia Association. Her research focuses on imaging correlates of cognitive decline in stroke, post-stroke behavioural syndromes, and the diagnosis and management of focal onset dementias.

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