Functional Topography of Human Corpus Callosum: An fMRI Mapping Study
Interhemispheric transfer of visual information was investigated behaviourally and with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) 6 months after a lesion of the posterior two-thirds of the corpus callosum. On tachistoscopical left hemifield presentation, the patient was severely impaired in reading letters, words and geographical names and moderately impaired in naming pictures and colours. In contrast, interhemispheric transfer of visual motion information, tested by verbal report of the direction of short sequences of coherent dot motion presented within the left hemifield, was preserved. The pattern of cerebral activation elicited by apparent motion stimuli was studied with fMRI and compared to that of normal subjects. In normal subjects, apparent motion stimuli, as compared to darkness, activated strongly striate and extrastriate cortex. When presented to one hemifield only, the contralateral calcarine region was activated while regions on the occipital convexity, including putative area V5, were activated bilaterally. A similar activation pattern was found in the patient with a posterior callosal lesion; unilateral left or right hemifield stimulation was accompanied by activation in the contralateral and ipsilateral occipital convexity. Ipsilateral hemifield representation in the extrastriate visual cortex is believed to depend on callosal input. Our observation suggests that this is not the case for visual motion representation and that other, probably parallel, pathways may mediate visual motion transfer after posterior callosotomy.