Estimating receptive field size from fMRI data in human striate and extrastriate visual cortex

Cereb Cortex. 2001 Dec;11(12):1182-90. doi: 10.1093/cercor/11.12.1182.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to estimate the average receptive field sizes of neurons in each of several striate and extrastriate visual areas of the human cerebral cortex. The boundaries of the visual areas were determined by retinotopic mapping procedures and were visualized on flattened representations of the occipital cortex. Estimates of receptive field size were derived from the temporal duration of the functional activation at each cortical location as a visual stimulus passed through the receptive fields represented at that location. Receptive fields are smallest in the primary visual cortex (V1). They are larger in V2, larger again in V3/VP and largest of all in areas V3A and V4. In all these areas, receptive fields increase in size with increasing stimulus eccentricity. The results are qualitatively in line with those obtained by others in macaque monkeys using neurophysiological methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*