Prefrontal modulation of visual processing in humans

Nat Neurosci. 2000 Apr;3(4):399-403. doi: 10.1038/73975.


Single neuron, evoked potential and metabolic techniques show that attention influences visual processing in extrastriate cortex. We provide anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral evidence that prefrontal cortex regulates neuronal activity in extrastriate cortex during visual discrimination. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a visual detection task in patients with damage in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal damage reduced neuronal activity in extrastriate cortex of the lesioned hemisphere. These electrophysiological abnormalities, beginning 125 ms after stimulation and lasting for another 500 ms, were accompanied by behavioral deficits in detection ability in the contralesional hemifield. The results provide evidence for intrahemispheric prefrontal modulation of visual processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology