Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Cortical Magnification

  • Ronald A. CohenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1355


Cortical magnification refers to the fact that the number of neurons in the visual cortex responsible for processing the visual stimulus of a given size varies as a function of the location of the stimulus in the visual field. Stimuli occurring in the center of the visual field that have been detected in the fovea of the retina are processed by a very large number of neurons in the primary visual cortex of the occipital lobe, though these neurons handle only a very small region of the central visual field. Conversely, stimuli detected in the peripheral visual field tend to be processed by a much smaller number of neurons in the primary visual cortex.

Current Knowledge

Cortical magnification reflects an important concept in the field of cognitive neuroscience; the cortical volume, and ultimately the number of neurons allocated to a particular function, typically varies as a function of the significance of the function. For example, since the sense of touch is particularly...

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References and Readings

  1. Daniel, P. M., & Whitteridge, D. (1961). The representation of the visual field on the cerebral cortex in monkeys. Journal of Physiology, 159, 203–221.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyCollege of Public Health and Health Professions, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive Aging and MemoryMcKnight Brain Institute, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA