From Imhotep to Hubel and Wiesel

The Story of Visual Cortex
  • Charles G. Gross
Part of the Cerebral Cortex book series (CECO, volume 12)


This chapter traces the origins of our current ideas about visual cortex. We begin, in Section 2, long before the beginning of science, in the 30th century BCE, with the earliest description of the cerebral cortex. In Section 3 we consider the views of Greek philosopher-scientists on the functions of the brain. Section 4 concerns the long period in which there were virtually no advances in Europe in understanding the brain. In Section 5 we describe how even after Western brain research was well underway again, the cerebral cortex tended to be ignored. Section 6 considers the beginning of the modern study of the cerebral cortex and the localization therein of psychological functions. Our focus narrows in Section 7 and we consider how a specifically visual area of the cortex was delineated. The final section brings us to the theme of the entire volume, the extrastriate visual cortices. This review ends in the early 1980s about the time of the award of the Nobel Prize to Hubel and Wiesel for their discoveries on the visual cortex.


Cerebral Cortex Visual Cortex Occipital Lobe Visual Area Posterior Parietal Cortex 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles G. Gross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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