Interaction between dorsal and ventral processing streams: where, when and how?

Brain Lang. 2013 Nov;127(2):251-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 8.


The execution of complex visual, auditory, and linguistic behaviors requires a dynamic interplay between spatial ('where/how') and non-spatial ('what') information processed along the dorsal and ventral processing streams. However, while it is acknowledged that there must be some degree of interaction between the two processing networks, how they interact, both anatomically and functionally, is a question which remains little explored. The current review examines the anatomical, temporal, and behavioral evidence regarding three potential models of dual stream interaction: (1) computations along the two pathways proceed independently and in parallel, reintegrating within shared target brain regions; (2) processing along the separate pathways is modulated by the existence of recurrent feedback loops; and (3) information is transferred directly between the two pathways at multiple stages and locations along their trajectories.

Keywords: Auditory processing; Dorsal–ventral integration; Dual stream model; Language processing; Visual processing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*