Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Ventral Visual Pathway

  • Giulia RighiEmail author
  • Jean Vettel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1409


Ventral stream; “What system”


The ventral visual pathway is a functional stream involved in the visual recognition of objects. The anatomical substrates to the ventral visual pathway were initially identified in macaque monkeys by Mishkin and Ungerleider (1982). They observed that visual input from primary visual cortex is projected to the inferior temporal cortex (areas TEO and TE) via prestriate cortex (Mishkin et al. 1982; Mishkin et al. 1983). An analogous pathway is present in the human brain. This pathway consists of visual input from primary visual cortex V1 relayed through areas V2 and V4, and ultimately projected into the inferior temporal cortex. While areas V1, V2, and V4 are involved in the processing of basic-level visual features such as edges, contours, and color, the inferior temporal cortex is suggested to process complex shapes (Ungerleider and Haxby 1994).


Since the 1960s, researchers had suggested that the visual system could be divided...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visual Neuroscience LaboratoryBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.US Army Research LaboratoryNational Academy of the SciencesWashingtonUSA