9.00SC | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Psychology


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Session Overview

What can happen if the connection between the brain and the visual system is disrupted or damaged? What can cause patients to act as if part of their world not only doesn’t exist, but couldn’t exist? In this lecture, we will discuss blindsight and neglect and see how studies on these patients have provided insights on how our brains receive and interpret information about the world.

Keywords: blindsight, neglect, attention, extinction, visuospatial agnosia, hemispatial neglect, anosagnosia, right and left inattentive, parietal cortex, temporal cortex, representational theory, M. Posner.

Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video under a CC-BY license.

Session Activities


Read the following before watching the lecture video.

  • [Sacks] Chapters 4 and 8, “The Man Who Fell out of Bed” (pp. 55–58) and “Eyes Right!” (pp. 77–79).
  • [K&R] Finish Chapter 3, “Sensation and Perception: How the World Enters the Mind”

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Video Resources

Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Further reading de Gelder, Beatrice. “Uncanny Sight in the Blind.” Scientific American, 2010. (PDF) Article discussing a patient Prof. Gabrieli goes over in lecture
Video “A Blind Monkey Who Sees Everything.” Filmed by Nicholas Humphrey, Cambridge, 1971. A 1971 movie of Helen, a blind monkey circumnavigating obstacles

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Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011
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