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J Physiol. 2011 Jan 1;589(Pt 1):41-7. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.192658. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Visual pathways and psychophysical channels in the primate.

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  • 1SUNY Optometry, 33 W. 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, USA.


The main cell systems of the retina that provide input to the striate cortex are now well described, although certain aspects of their anatomy and physiology remain contentious. Under simple stimulus conditions and in a threshold context psychophysical performance can often be assigned to one or other of these systems, and an identification of psychophysical channels with afferent pathways is justifiable. However, results from psychophysical studies using more complex stimulus conditions are more difficult to relate to 'front end' channels, and it is more difficult to separate the physiological contributions of afferent pathways from those of cortical mechanisms, in particular the separation of dorsal and ventral streams.

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