Then There Was Light

Jody Culham, Professor of Psychology at Western University, Ontario, Canada, describes a curious case of blindness

October 2018


Milena Canning suffered a respiratory infection and a series of strokes that damaged her occipital lobe – the part of the brain responsible for processing vision. When she emerged from an eight-week coma, she was completely blind. One day, when a friend brought in a gift bag, she noticed that it looked “sparkly” – the first of many experiences where she was able to report seeing motion. When she told her physicians, they suggested she was hallucinating. Someone suggested she meet with a neurologist, Gordon Dutton, in Glasgow, UK. He diagnosed it as Riddoch syndrome.

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