Hitting head, seeing stars

Robert Steven steven at MSHRI.ON.CA
Fri Oct 18 18:24:17 EST 1996


Several people have mentioned the possibility of the cortex being physically
stimulated by a bang to the head, thus randomly activating the neurons and
creating the stars.

Anyone know of any reports of direct stimulation of the surface of the
human visual cortex during operations to correct epilepsy? Does the patient
see stars?

Direct stimulation of the brain in awake patients is often performed in
these operations so the surgeon knows exactly what areas of the brain he is
working on. I know this stuff is done around the sensory or motor cortex.
The patient
will, for example, feel a strange sensation on his leg or wiggle his finger
with appropriate stimulation of the cortex. Do they ever do the equivalent
sort of
thing around the visual cortex?

-Rob





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