Neural mechanisms for color perception in the primary visual cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Aug;12(4):426-32. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(02)00349-5.


New neurophysiological results show the existence of multiple transformations of color signals in the primary visual cortex (V1) in macaque monkey. These different color mechanisms may contribute separately to the perception of color boundaries and colored regions. Many cells in V1 respond to color and to black-white (luminance) patterns. These neurons are spatially selective and could provide signals about boundaries between differently colored regions. Other V1 neurons that prefer color over luminance respond without much spatial selectivity to colored stimuli, and could be the neural basis for the response to local color modulation within a region. How these different types of color cells combine inputs from cone photoreceptors is what gives them their different spatial selectivities for color.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology
  • Macaca
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology