Origins: Brain and Self Organization

By Karl Pribram | Go to book overview
fined form without deficits in the detection of motion or the perception of the direction of motion [64˙].An even more difficult set of problems concerns the role of attention and consciousness in the two streams of processing (for a discussion of these issues, see [14,15˙˙]). Are the attentional mechanisms that operate during perception different from those that operate during the performance of skilled visuomotor acts? What is the nature of the distinction between 'conscious' perceptual experience and the apparently 'automatic' control of action? What are the neural substrates for these differences? While the answers to these and related questions will not come easily, the re-casting of the division of labor between the ventral and dorsal streams into a distinction between perception and action may provide a useful theoretical framework for exploring the role of attention and consciousness in visual processing.
In summary, there is a good deal of electrophysiological and behavioral evidence supporting the idea that two very different sets of transformations are carried out in the primate cerebral cortex and the characteristics of these transformations reflect the requirements of the different output systems that they serve. The two streams of visual processing that emanate from primary visual cortex appear to reflect this distinction: the ventral stream delivers the visual representations underlying long-term knowledge of objects and events in the world, and the dorsal stream, which utilizes the instantaneous and egocentric features of objects, mediates the on-line visual control of goal-directed actions.
Research in the author's laboratory is supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada.
References and recommended reading
Papers of particular interest, published within the annual period of review, have been highlighted as:
• of special interest
•• of outstanding interest
1. UNGERLEIDER MISHKIN M LG: "Two Cortical Visual Systems". In Analysis of Visual Behavior. Edited by Ingle DJ, Goodale MA , Mansfield RJW. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press: 1982:549-585.
2. SCHILLER PH. LOGOTHETIS NK: "The Color-Opponent and Broad-band Channels of the Primate Visual System". Trends Neurosci 1990, 13:392-398.
3. MERIGAN MAUNSELL JRH WH: "How Parallel are the Primate ••Visual Pathways?" Annu Rev, Neurosci 1993, 16:369-402. An excellent review of the recent electrophysiological and behavioral work on the functional differences between the M and P pathways in the primate visual system.
4. MAUNSELL JHR: "Physiological Evidence for Two Visual Subsystems. In Matters of Intelligence". Edited by Vaina L. Dordrecht , Holland: Reidel Press; 1987:59-87.
5. LIVINGSTONE HUBEL DH MS: "Segregation of Form, Color, Movement and Depth: Anatomy, Physiology, and Perception". Science 1988, 240:740-749.
6. MERIGAN WH, KATZ LM, MAUNSELL JHR: "The Effects of Parvocellular Lateral Geniculate Lesions on the Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity of Macaque Monkeys". J Neurosci 1991, 11:994-1001.
7. SCHILLER PH, LOGOTHETIS NK, CHARLES ER: "Role of the Color Opponent and Broad-Band Channels in Vision". Visual Neurosci 1990, 5:321-346.
8. LYNCH JJ, SILVEIRA CL, PERRY VH, MERIGAN WH: "Visual Effects of Damage to P Ganglion Cells in Macaques". Visual Neurosci 1992. 8:575-583.
9. MAUNSELL JHR, NEALEY TA, DEPRIEST DD: "Magnocellular and Parvocellular Contributions to Responses in the Middle Temporal Visual Area (MT) of the Macaque Monkey". J Neurosci 1990, 10:3323-3334.
10. FERRERA VP, NEALEY TA, MAUNSELL JHR: "Mixed Parvocellu•• lar and Magnocellular Geniculate Signals in Visual Area 4". Nature, 1992, 358:756-758.
This study describes experiments showing that selective inactivation of either the M or P pathway at the level of the LGNd can affect the responsivity of cells in V4. These results indicate that the both the M and the P pathways make significant contributions to the ventral stream.
1. NEALY TA, MAUNSELL JHR: "Magnocellular Contributions to the Superfical Layers of Macaque Striate Cortex". Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1991, 32:1117.
2. VAN ESSEN DC, ANDERSON CH, FELLEMAN DJ: "Information Processing in the Primate Visual System: An Integrated Systems Perspective". Science 1992, 255:419-423.
3. 13. YOUNG MP: "Objective Analysis of the Topological Organi• zation of the Primate Cortical Visual System". Nature 1992, 358:152-154.
The author used a mathematical optimization technique to examine the topological organization of the visual projections in the primate cerebral cortex. This analysis revealed that the different pathways could be dichotomized into two streams of processing and that the two streams reconverged in the anterior region of the superior temporal polysensory area and in area 46 in prefrontal cortex.
1. GOODALE MA, MILNER AD: "Separate Visual Pathways for Perception and Action". Trends Neurosci 1992, 15:20-25.
2. MILNER AD, GOODALE, MA: "Visual Pathways to Perception •• and Action". In the Visually Responsive Neuron: From Basic Neurophysiology to Behavior. Prog Brain Res. Vol 95. Edited by Hicks TP, Molotchnikoff S, Ono T. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1993:317-338.
Both this paper and the earlier version by Goodale and Milner [14] propose a new account of the division of labor between the ventral and dorsal stream of visual processing in primate cerebral cortex. Evidence is presented to suggest that the ventral stream plays the major role in the perception of objects, while the dorsal stream mediates actions directed at those objects.
1. PERENIN M-T, VIGHETTO A: "Optic Ataxia: A Specific Disruption in Visuomotor Mechanisms. I. Different Aspects of the Deficit in Reaching for Objects". Brain 1988, 111:643-674.
2. JAKOBSON LS, ARCHIBALD YM, CAREY DP, GOODALE. MA: "A Kinematic Analysis of Reaching and Grasping Movements in a Patient Recovering from Optic Ataxia". Neuropsychologia 1991, 29:803-809.
3. JEANNEROD M: The Neural and Behavioural Organization of Goal-Directed Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1988.
4. GOODALE MA, MILNER AD. JAKOBSON LS. CAREY DP: "A Neurological Dissociation Between Perceiving Objects and Grasping Them". Nature 1991, 349:154-156.


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