Stereopsis activates V3A and caudal intraparietal areas in macaques and humans

Neuron. 2003 Jul 31;39(3):555-68. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00459-8.


Stereopsis, the perception of depth from small differences between the images in the two eyes, provides a rich model for investigating the cortical construction of surfaces and space. Although disparity-tuned cells have been found in a large number of areas in macaque visual cortex, stereoscopic processing in these areas has never been systematically compared using the same stimuli and analysis methods. In order to examine the global architecture of stereoscopic processing in primate visual cortex, we studied fMRI activity in alert, fixating human and macaque subjects. In macaques, we found strongest activation to near/far compared to zero disparity in areas V3, V3A, and CIPS. In humans, we found strongest activation to the same stimuli in areas V3A, V7, the V4d topolog (V4d-topo), and a caudal parietal disparity region (CPDR). Thus, in both primate species a small cluster of areas at the parieto-occipital junction appears to be specialized for stereopsis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*