Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp 1737–1754 | Cite as

Visual perception and memory systems: from cortex to medial temporal lobe

  • Zafar U. KhanEmail author
  • Elisa Martín-Montañez
  • Mark G. Baxter


Visual perception and memory are the most important components of vision processing in the brain. It was thought that the perceptual aspect of a visual stimulus occurs in visual cortical areas and that this serves as the substrate for the formation of visual memory in a distinct part of the brain called the medial temporal lobe. However, current evidence indicates that there is no functional separation of areas. Entire visual cortical pathways and connecting medial temporal lobe are important for both perception and visual memory. Though some aspects of this view are debated, evidence from both sides will be explored here. In this review, we will discuss the anatomical and functional architecture of the entire system and the implications of these structures in visual perception and memory.


Lateral geniculate nucleus Primary visual cortex Secondary visual cortex Perception Perceptual learning Inferotemporal cortex Parietal cortex Area V2 Medial temporal lobe Object recognition memory 



Research in the Khan laboratory on visual memory is supported by grants from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (BFU2009-07641 and BFU2010-16500) and Junta de Andalucia (CTS 586/09-11).


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zafar U. Khan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Elisa Martín-Montañez
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark G. Baxter
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurobiology, CIMES, Facultad de MedicinaUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain
  4. 4.CIBERNED, Institute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  5. 5.Glickenhaus Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Department of NeuroscienceMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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