The Role of Area 17 in the Transfer of Information to Extrastriate Visual Cortex

  • Jean Bullier
  • Pascal Girard
  • Paul-Antoine Salin
Part of the Cerebral Cortex book series (CECO, volume 10)


The ideas concerning the role of area 17 in the transfer of visual information to the rest of the cerebral cortex have for a long time been influenced by the results of behavioral studies of primates following cortical lesions. Since the last century it has been known that lesions of area 17 lead to blindness in humans (for a review see Weiskrantz, 1986, and Rizzo, this volume). This critical role of area 17 in vision was used in the beginning of the 20th century by Inouye in Japan and Holmes in Great Britain to map the representation of the visual field in area 17 of humans by delimiting the extents of scotomata resulting from focal lesions in area 17 of wounded soldiers. In 1942, the results of an extensive study by Klüver of monkeys with cortical lesions seemed to leave little doubt that, for this species as well, area 17 is necessary for any kind of vision beyond a simple discrimination between light and dark. Rudimentary sensitivity to light had also been noted to persist in humans with lesions of area 17 by Holmes (1918) and Riddoch (1917). Interestingly, this last author noted a weak residual sensitivity to moving targets, but no perception of stationary objects.


Receptive Field Superior Colliculus Visual Response Macaque Monkey Striate Cortex 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Bullier
    • 1
  • Pascal Girard
    • 1
  • Paul-Antoine Salin
    • 1
  1. 1.Cerveau et VisionINSERM Unité 371Bron/LyonFrance

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