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

Synonyms

Ventral stream; “What system”

Structure

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).

Function

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

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

References and Readings

  1. Aguirre, G. K. (1999). Face recognition turned upside-down. Neuron, 22(1), 5–6.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. De Renzi, E., & Saetti, M. C. (1997). Associative agnosia and optic aphasia: Qualitative or quantitative difference? Cortex; A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 33, 115–130.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Epstein, R., & Kanwisher, N. (1998). A cortical representation of the local visual environment. Nature, 392(6676), 598–601.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Farah, M. J. (1990). Visual agnosia: Disorders of object recognition and what they tell us about normal vision. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Grill-Spector, K. (2004). The functional organization of the ventral visual pathway and its relationship to object recognition. In N. Kanwisher & J. Duncan (Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Haxby, J. V., Hoffman, E. A., & Gobbini, M. I. (2000). The distributed human neural system for face perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(6), 223–233.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Kanwisher, N., McDermott, J., & Chun, M. M. (1997). The fusiform face area: A module in human extrastriate cortex specialized for face perception. The Journal of Neuroscience, 17(11), 4302–4311.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Lissauer, H. (1890). A case of visual agnosia with a contribution to theory. Archiv fur Psychiatrie, 21, 222–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Malach, R., Reppas, J. B., Benson, R. R., Kwong, K. K., Jiang, H., Kennedy, W. A., et al. (1995). Object-related activity revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging in human occipital cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 92(18), 8135–8139.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Martin, C. L., Wiggs, L. G., Ungerleider, L., & Haxby, J. V. (1996). Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge. Nature, 379, 649–652.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Mishkin, M., Lewis, M. E., & Ungerleider, L. G. (1982). Equivalence of parieto-preoccipital subareas for visuospatial ability in monkeys. Behavioural Brain Research, 6(1), 41–55.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Mishkin, M., Ungerleider, L. G., & Macko, K. A. (1983). Object vision and spatial vision: Two cortical pathways. Trends in Neurosciences, 6, 414–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ungerleider, L. G., & Haxby, J. V. (1994). “What” and “where” in the human brain. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 4(2), 157–165.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

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