Which visual functions depend on intermediate visual regions? Insights from a case of developmental visual form agnosia

Sharon Gilaie-Dotan


A key question in visual neuroscience is the causal link between specific brain areas and perceptual functions; which regions are necessary for which visual functions? While the contribution of primary visual cortex and high-level visual regions to visual perception has been extensively investigated, the contribution of intermediate visual areas (e.g. V2/V3) to visual processes remains unclear. Here I review more than 20 visual functions (early, mid, and high-level) of LG, a developmental visual agnosic and prosopagnosic young adult, whose intermediate visual regions function in a significantly abnormal fashion as revealed through extensive fMRI and ERP investigations. While expectedly, some of LG's visual functions are significantly impaired, some of his visual functions are surprisingly normal (e.g. stereopsis, color, reading, biological motion). During the period of eight-year testing described here, LG trained on a perceptual learning paradigm that was successful in improving some but not all of his visual functions. Following LG's visual performance and taking into account additional findings in the field, I propose a framework for how different visual areas contribute to different visual functions, with an emphasis on int...Continue Reading


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