Semir Zeki's review of Out of Mind (Books, THES , March 29) rehashes splinters of the debate on blindsight that took place more than a decade ago. The picture the reviewer sketches is so outdated that it hardly connects with the book chapters. These consist of investigations of varieties of non-conscious vision all done over the past five years.
The researchers were often drawn to studying non-conscious vision by the progress in other fields. Most of them entered the field by the time the basic facts of blindsight had become well established. It is worth noting that the volume is a Festschrift for Larry Weiskrantz, a fact that goes unmentioned by Zeki.
The scientific findings about alternative visual routes in cases of cortical damage are well established and their consequences perceived as increasingly important for a dynamic view of brain processes and plasticity.
Beatrice de Gelder
Professor of cognitive neuroscience
University of Tilberg, Netherlands