Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The involvement of the temporal lobes in colour discrimination

  • 49 Accesses

  • 20 Citations


Monkeys with ablation of lateral striate, prestriate or inferotemporal cortex were compared with unoperated controls in their ability to discriminate Munsell colours, or greys, of increasing difficulty. Whereas lateral striate or prestriate lesions centred on visual area V4 mildly impaired only the most difficult discriminations, inferotemporal ablation resulted in a severe impairment in the acquisition of colour discriminations. However, the ability to discriminate greys was much less affected.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bellamy BR, Newhall SM (1942) Attributive limens in selected regions of the Munsell color solid. JOpt Soc Am 32: 465–473

  2. Chow KL, Orbach J (1957) Performance of visual discriminations presented tachistoscopically in monkeys with temporal neocortical ablations. J Comp Physiol Psychol 50: 636–640

  3. Davidoff JB, Ostergaard AL (1980) Colour anomia resulting from weakened short-term colour memory. Brain 107: 415–431

  4. Dean P (1972) Functions of the temporal lobe in visual discrimination and memory in Macaca mulatta. Unpublished DPhil Dissertation, University of Oxford

  5. Dean P (1979) Visual cortex ablation and thresholds for successively presented stimuli in rhesus monkeys. II. Hue. Exp Brain Res 35: 69–83

  6. Dean P (1982) Visual behavior in monkeys with inferotemporal lesions. In: Ingle DJ, Goodale MA, Mansfield RJW (eds) Analysis of visual behavior. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 587–628

  7. Gross CG, Cowey A, Manning FJ (1971) Further analysis of visual discrimination deficits following foveal prestriate and inferotemporal lesions in rhesus monkeys. J Comp Physiol Psychol 76: 1–7

  8. Heywood CA, Cowey A (1987) On the role of cortical area V4 in the discrimination of hue and pattern in macaque monkeys. J Neurosci 7(9): 2601–2617

  9. Heywood CA, Wilson B, Cowey A (1987) A case study of cortical colour blindness with relatively intact achromatic discrimination. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 50: 22–29

  10. Maunsell JHR, Newsome WT (1987) Visual processing in monkey extrastriate cortex. Annu Rev Neurosci 10: 363–401

  11. Mishkin M (1954) Visual discrimination performance following partial ablations of the temporal lobe. II. Ventral surface vs hippocampus. J Comp Physiol Psychol 47: 187–193

  12. Orbach J, Fantz RL (1958) Differential effects of temporal neocortical resections on overtrained and non-overtrained visual habits in monkeys. J Comp Physiol Psychol 51: 126–129

  13. Ungerleider LG, Mishkin M (1982) Two cortical visual systems. In: Ingle DJ, Goodale MA, Mansfield RJW (eds) Analysis of visual behavior. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 549–586

  14. Van Essen DC (1985) Functional organization of primate visual cortex. In: Peters A, Jones EG (eds) Cerebral cortex, Vol 3. Plenum Press, New York, pp 259–329

  15. Wilson M, Kaufman HM, Zieler RE, Lieb JP (1972) Visual identification and memory in monkeys with circumscribed inferotemporal lesions. J Comp Physiol Psychol 78:173–183

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to C. A. Heywood.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Heywood, C.A., Shields, C. & Cowey, A. The involvement of the temporal lobes in colour discrimination. Exp Brain Res 71, 437–441 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00247504

Download citation

Key words

  • Monkey
  • Cortical visual areas
  • Colour discrimination