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What Is a Central Visual Defect?


Updated May 21, 2009

What Is a Central Visual Defect?

Central vision can be caused by strokes in the occipital lobe, seen in blue

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Question: What Is a Central Visual Defect?
Answer: A central visual defect, also called a central hemianopic defect, is the result of damage to the occipital pole in one side of the brain. It can also occur as a result of other conditions, such as macular degeneration. People with a central visual defect are unable to process visual information in the middle of their visual field on the affected side. In other words, a central visual defect is a large blind spot in the middle of your vision.

For example, when looking straight ahead at someone’s face, a person with central visual defect on their right side might not be able to see the nose, upper lip, and the lower half of the eye on that side, but he could see everything around the visual defect (e.g. the shoulder and the top of their head on the same side).


Allan Ropper and Robert Brown, Adam's and Victor's Principles of Neurology, 8th Edition McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, United States of America, 2005, pp 417-430.

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