The architecture of the colour centre in the human visual brain: new results and a review *

  title={The architecture of the colour centre in the human visual brain: new results and a review *},
  author={Andreas M. Bartels and Semir Zeki},
  journal={European Journal of Neuroscience},
We have used the technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a variety of colour paradigms to activate the human brain regions selective for colour. We show here that the region defined previously [ Lueck et al. (1989) Nature, 340, 386–389; Zeki et al. (1991) J. Neurosci., 11, 641–649; McKeefry & Zeki (1997) Brain, 120, 2229–2242] as the human colour centre consists of two subdivisions, a posterior one, which we call V4 and an anterior one, which we refer to as V4α, the two… 

A study of integration and binding in the human visual brain.

It is proposed that cue integration is a rapid, feed-forward process that is executed by the area specialised for processing the relevant stimulus and is crucial to the rapid and efficient recognition of visual objects by the human visual system.

Distribution of colour‐selective activity in the monkey inferior temporal cortex revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

It is found that there are multiple subregions with differing stimulus selectivities distributed in the IT cortex, and that colour information is processed in these discrete sub Regions.

Color in the Cortex: single- and double-opponent cells

Color Specificity in the Human V4 Complex – An fMRI Repetition Suppression Study

The hierarchy of color processing areas in the human brain starts from cone-opponent signals in the retina, and visual area V4 and ‘globs’ of neurons in ventral occipital cortex (immediately anterior to V4) are deemed important for color constancy and for the luminance-invariant coding of individual hues.

Color architecture in alert macaque cortex revealed by FMRI.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging in the alert macaque is used, giving a whole brain perspective of color processing in the healthy brain, and results suggest that color depends on a connected ventral-stream pathway involving at least V1, V2, V4, and PITd.

Functional measurements of human ventral occipital cortex: retinotopy and colour.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify visual field maps and colour responsivity on the ventral surface and found a visual map of the complete contralateral hemifield in a 4 cm(2) region adjacent to ventral V3; the foveal representation of this map is confluent with that of areas V1/2/3.

The response to colour in the human visual cortex: the fMRI approach

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    Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
  • 2019

The selectivity of responses to red‐green colour and achromatic contrast in the human visual cortex: an fMRI adaptation study

The findings of fMRI adaptation support a strong presence of integrated mechanisms for colour and Ach contrast across the visual hierarchy, with a progression towards selective processing in extrastriate visual areas.

The processing of kinetic contours in the brain.

There is no present evidence for a visual area specialized for the processing of kinetic contours in the primate visual brain, according to the terminology of Smith et al.



The position and topography of the human colour centre as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

It is found that human V4 contains a representation of both the superior and inferior visual fields, and there appears to be retinotopic organization of V4 with the superior visual field being represented more medially on the fusiform gyrus and the inferior field more laterally, the two areas abutting on one another.

Three cortical stages of colour processing in the human brain.

The technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging is used to chart the colour pathways in the human brain beyond V4 and shows that both naturally and unnaturally coloured objects activate a pathway extending from V1 to V4, though not overlapping totally the activity produced by viewing abstract coloured Mondrian scenes.

The colour centre in the cerebral cortex of man

A comparison of the results of PET scans of subjects viewing multi-coloured and black-and-white displays has identified a region of normal human cerebral cortex specialized for colour vision.

The clinical and functional measurement of cortical (in)activity in the visual brain, with special reference to the two subdivisions (V4 and V4 alpha) of the human colour centre.

  • S. ZekiA. Bartels
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1999
We argue below that, at least in studying the visual brain, the old and simple methods of detailed clinical assessment and perimetric measurement still yield important insights into the organization

Functional mapping of the human colour centre with echo-planar magnetic resonance imaging

The colour effect and after-effect on activation of the fusiform gyrus observed here suggest its critical role in human colour perception.

Functional segregation of color and motion processing in the human visual cortex: clinical evidence.

  • L. Vaina
  • Biology, Psychology
    Cerebral cortex
  • 1994
A psychophysical and neuropsychological study of visual perceptual abilities in two stroke patients, each with lesions involving several extrastriate areas, suggests the existence of a pathway involved in identification-from-motion that is separate from both the dorsal early motion/spatial analysis pathway and the ventral color/static-form pathway.

Functional Organisation of Human Visual Cortex Revealed by fMRI

Nearly ten visual cortical areas can now be functionally localised each with unique functional and topographical properties, most of which are similar to those reported in presumably homologous areas of macaque, but distinctive species differences also appear to exist.

Retinotopy and color sensitivity in human visual cortical area V8

The location of the human color-selective region did not match the location of area V4 (neither its dorsal nor ventral subdivisions), as extrapolated from macaque maps, and instead this region coincides with a new retinotopic area that is called 'V8', which includes a distinct representation of the fovea and both upper and lower visual fields.


Evidence shows that the input to the V4 complex from the different visual areas do not all originate from the same laminae, and it follows that determinants other than laminar origin govern the inputs to theV4 complex.