Two publications, Roe et al, 1992 and Metin & Frost, 1989, describe results pertaining to the ability of a region of cortex to process information from a different sensory mode than the one that it normally does.
Specifically, they describe studies in which:
- input from the retinas of newborn rodents was rerouted, by surgical methods, to parts of the cortex other than the visual
- the rodents were allowed to mature
- the responses of cortical cells in the new target region to visual stimuli were assess.
Now it's 20 years later, so I'm sure there have been many others.
Something of which these publications seem to make no mention is the behavior that developed in the test subjects (eg. did they appear, from a behavioral standpoint, to be completely blind?)
Is anyone aware of any publication, relating to these studies or other, similar experiments, which addresses such questions?
- Roe AW, Pallas SL, Kwon YH, Sur M. 1992. Visual projections routed to the auditory pathway in ferrets: receptive fields of visual neurons in primary auditory cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 12(9): 3651-64.
- Métin C, Frost DO. 1989. Visual responses of neurons in somatosensory cortex of hamsters with experimentally induced retinal projections to somatosensory thalamus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 86(1): 357-361.