Visual interhemispheric communication and callosal connections of the occipital lobes

Cortex. 2014 Jul:56:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


Callosal connections of the occipital lobes, coursing in the splenium of the corpus callosum, have long been thought to be crucial for interactions between the cerebral hemispheres in vision in both experimental animals and humans. Yet the callosal connections of the temporal and parietal lobes appear to have more important roles than those of the occipital callosal connections in at least some high-order interhemispheric visual functions. The partial intermixing and overlap of temporal, parietal and occipital callosal connections within the splenium has made it difficult to attribute the effects of splenial pathological lesions or experimental sections to splenial components specifically related to select cortical areas. The present review describes some current contributions from the modern techniques for the tracking of commissural fibers within the living human brain to the tentative assignation of specific visual functions to specific callosal tracts, either occipital or extraoccipital.

Keywords: Corpus callosum; DTI tractography; Occipital lobes; Splenium; Visual interhemispheric transfer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Callosum / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology*