A 10-year old girl born with half a brain has developed the power of two eyes in one - all thanks to a massive reorganisation of the brain circuits involved in vision, scientists have claimed.
"It was quite a surprise to see that something like this is possible," says Lars Muckli, a neuroscientist at the University of Glasgow, UK, who was part of the team that imaged the girl's brain.
AdvertisementScans revealed the German girl's brain rewired itself during development when she was still in her mother's womb.
The University of Glasgow researchers report the findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Doctors discovered the youngster was missing the right half at the age of three, after she began suffering from seizures.
However, the seizures proved treatable and the girl - known as AH - lives an otherwise normal life, reports New Scientist.
What amazed Muckli was that she had the ability to see out of the left and right visual fields.
In other cases, where patients have half of the brain removed to treat severe epilepsy, for example, one field of vision is lost in both eyes, meaning they see only objects on the left or right side of their vision.
In the case of the German girl, her left and right field vision is almost perfect in one eye.
Scans on the girl showed that the retinal nerve fibres carrying visual information from the back of the eye which should have gone to the right hemisphere of the brain diverted to the left.
"It's fascinating to have someone who is absolutely, completely behaving normally and then knowing she only has half of a brain," Muckli says.
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