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Complete sparing of high-contrast color input to motion perception in cortical color blindness

By Patrick Cavanagh, Marie-Anne Hénaff, François Michel, Theodor Landis, Tomasz Troscianko and James Intriligator

Abstract

It is widely held that color and motion are processed by separate parallel pathways in the visual system, but this view is difficult to reconcile with the fact that motion can be detected in equiluminant stimuli that are defined by color alone. To examine the relationship between color and motion, we tested three patients who had lost their color vision following cortical damage (central achromatopsia). Despite their profound loss in the subjective experience of color and their inability to detect the motion of faint colors, all three subjects showed surprisingly strong responses to high-contrast, moving color stimuli — equal in all respects to the performance of subjects with normal color vision. The pathway from opponent-color detectors in the retina to the motion analysis areas must therefore be independent of the damaged color centers in the occipitotemporal area. It is probably also independent of the motion analysis area MT/V5, because the contribution of color to motion detection in these patients is much stronger than the color response of monkey area MT

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1038/688
OAI identifier: oai:sro.sussex.ac.uk:14193
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