[page 14 of wk 1 handout]

Zeki and Shipp 1988

“....[.the subjective] effortless coherence within the visual image bears little trace of the internal subdivisions of function in the visual cortex that has become apparent from the past twenty years of research into the primate visual system. Anatomical, physiological and behavioral experiments in the monkey, and clinical studies of humans with cerebral lesions have established that different attributes of the visual scene, such as form, colour and motion, are processed in separate, anatomically distinct regions in the visual cortex, each executing its functions with considerable autonomy.
This separation of function mirrors that found in the cerebral cortex as a whole...”

They want ultimately to answer Lashley's question of how the specialized areas interact to produce the integration evident in thought and behaviour -

Their answer is forward and backward connections along a serial pathway: Anatomical connections provide the basis for segregating features of the visual image into separate cortical areas: they suppose that there is communication between these areas at all levels to produce a coherent percept.

Zeki 1993, p. 5)

“Central to this description is the theory of functional specialization. This theory supposes that different aspects of the visual scene are processed simultaneously, in parallel, but in anatomically separate parts of the visual cortex.”

“In short the study of colour gives us a vision of how the visual cortex works. The study of the visual cortex in turn gives us a vision of how the brain works.”


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