Parallel Pathways in Vision
At least three morphologically and functionally different types of optic nerve axons (parvocellular, magnocellular and koniocellular) are known to carry the visual information from the eyes to the brain. Each of these channels specialise for a set of different attributes of the visual scene, such as the parvocellular pathways being important for colour vision and the magnocellular pathways being particularly sensitive to low contrast stimuli. We have recently shown that the signals from the short-wavelength sensitive ("blue") cones are carried by a separate pathway in Old World primates right up to the primary visual cortex. We are now studying the way the three pathways interact between different cortical visual areas to provide us a unified picture of the visual world.
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