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Retinotopic organisation of cortical mechanisms responsive to colour: evidence from patient studies

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Publication details

JournalActa psychologica
DatePublished - 1997
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)7-24
Original languageEnglish


This paper deals with the visual responses of three patients who have impaired colour vision consequent on cortical dysfunction which, in two of them, is associated with demonstrable neuronal damage. The studies to be described are concerned particularly with the spatial attributes of their chromatic response mechanisms. Data are presented which establish that a hemianope GY has coarse chromatic discrimination for large stimuli located within his 'blind' hemifield. GY responds to stimuli containing differently coloured equiluminant components as if the coloured components were averaged over the whole field and it is speculated that such spatial averaging may correspond to the process which, in normal vision, provides compensation for change of illuminant in order to achieve colour constancy. Colour constancy is impaired in a second patient, BL, who has cortical lesions involving the lingual and fusiform gyri, areas which are partially spared in GY. It is shown that movement, but not colour, presented to GY's normal hemifield generates a response localised in his blind hemifield and disinhibitory interaction between movement and colour is illustrated for a patient MW, in whom colour chromatic stimuli generate spreading inhibition of visual responses. This inhibitory interaction is propagated between widely separated stimuli, including those which are located on opposite sides of the vertical meridian. We discuss these experimental results in relation to anatomical and physiological mechanisms of the primate visual cortex.

    Research areas

  • Adult, Color Perception, Hemianopsia, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Retina, Visual Acuity, Visual Fields

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