Higher order visual processing in macaque extrastriate cortex

Physiol Rev. 2008 Jan;88(1):59-89. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00008.2007.


The extrastriate cortex of primates encompasses a substantial portion of the cerebral cortex and is devoted to the higher order processing of visual signals and their dispatch to other parts of the brain. A first step towards the understanding of the function of this cortical tissue is a description of the selectivities of the various neuronal populations for higher order aspects of the image. These selectivities present in the various extrastriate areas support many diverse representations of the scene before the subject. The list of the known selectivities includes that for pattern direction and speed gradients in middle temporal/V5 area; for heading in medial superior temporal visual area, dorsal part; for orientation of nonluminance contours in V2 and V4; for curved boundary fragments in V4 and shape parts in infero-temporal area (IT); and for curvature and orientation in depth from disparity in IT and CIP. The most common putative mechanism for generating such emergent selectivity is the pattern of excitatory and inhibitory linear inputs from the afferent area combined with nonlinear mechanisms in the afferent and receiving area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depth Perception / physiology
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Models, Animal
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*