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Visual perception of motion, luminance and colour in a human hemianope

Visual perception of motion, luminance and colour in a human hemianope

Brain 122: 1183-1198

Human patients rendered cortically blind by lesions to V1 can nevertheless discriminate between visual stimuli presented to their blind fields. Experimental evidence suggests that two response modes are involved. Patients are either unaware or aware of the visual stimuli, which they are able to discriminate. However, under both conditions patients insist that they do not see. We investigate the fundamental difference between percepts derived for the normal and affected hemifield in a human hemianope with visual stimuli of which he was aware. The psychophysical experiments we employed required the patient, GY, to make comparisons between stimuli presented in his affected and normal hemifields. The subject discriminated between, and was allowed to match, the stimuli. Our study reveals that the stimulus parameters of colour and motion can be discriminated and matched between the normal and blind hemifields, whereas brightness cannot. We provide evidence for associations between the percepts of colour and motion, but a dissociation between the percepts of brightness, derived from the normal and hemianopic fields. Our results are consistent with the proposal that the perception of different stimulus attributes is expressed in activity of functionally segregated visual areas of the brain. We also believe our results explain the patient's insistence that he does not see stimuli, but can discriminate between them with awareness.

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Accession: 011643391

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10356069

DOI: 10.1093/brain/122.6.1183

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