Generalized deficits in visual selective attention after V4 and TEO lesions in macaques

Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Sep;18(6):1671-91. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2003.02862.x.


To test the role of areas V4 and TEO in the attentional filtering of distracting information, we studied the effects of lesions in these areas, in monkeys discriminating target stimuli surrounded by irrelevant distracters. The lesions were restricted, such that a single visual field quadrant was affected by a V4 lesion alone, a TEO lesion alone, or a combined lesion in V4 and TEO, while one quadrant served as a normal control. The monkeys fixated a spot while discriminating the orientation, colour or motion of target stimuli presented extrafoveally in each quadrant. When the target was presented alone, discrimination deficits in the quadrants affected by the lesions were generally small. However, these deficits were substantially increased by surrounding the target with luminance, colour or motion distracters. The discrimination of target orientation was more impaired than the discrimination of target colour or motion, irrespective of distracter type. The discrimination of target motion was strongly affected only by motion distracters. The magnitude of the impairments increased with distracter strength and with the extent to which the distracters conveyed information conflicting with the target. Deficits in the quadrant affected by combined V4 and TEO lesions were twice as large as those in quadrants affected by V4 or TEO lesions alone. The results suggest that in the absence of V4 and TEO, information from both relevant and irrelevant stimuli is 'averaged' together across several different feature domains, impairing the discrimination of the relevant target features. The results suggest a broad role of V4 and TEO in visual selective attention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Functional Laterality
  • Macaca
  • Orientation
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / injuries*
  • Visual Cortex / pathology
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*