Objective: Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) underlies most of the neurological morbidity including visual-perceptual deficits in survivors of premature birth. However, it is unknown whether and, if so, how PVL affects functional cortical activity. Methods: Here, we assessed changes in the magnetoencephalographic (MEG) response to visual displays depicting human locomotion in adolescents who were born premature with magnetic resonance imaging signs of PVL. Results: Dynamics of MEG activity parallel behavioral deficits. Early (140-170 milliseconds) brain activation over the right parietal cortex was weaker in patients compared with term-born controls. Interpretation: This is the first evidence for stimulus-specific modulation of cortical activity by periventricular lesions providing new insights into the functional pathology of PVL.
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