The magnocellular pathway is one of three primary subcortical pathways (magnocellular, parvocellular, and koniocellular pathways) leading from the retina to visual cortex via the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Cells in the magnocellular pathway (M pathway) are specialized for detecting contrast sensitivity, course features, and movement. In some ways, the M pathway can be considered the origin of the parietal or dorsal visual stream, as it has been shown that the M pathway dominates in the route leading from V1 to the parietal cortex. Experimental ablation of the M pathway results in reduced spatial contrast sensitivity and impairments in detecting rapidly moving or flickering stimuli, while visual acuity and color contrast sensitivity appear to be spared.
Of the three major visual streams in the primate visual system, much is known about the magnocellular and parvocellular (P) pathways, whereas less is known about the more recently discovered...
For Information About the M and P Pathways See
- Kaplan, E., Lee, B. B., & Shapley, R. M. (1990). New views of primate retinal function. In N. N. Osborne & G. J. Chader (Eds.), Progress in retinal research (Vol. 9, pp. 273–336). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
For Information About the K Pathway See
- Xu, X., Ichida, M. J., Allison, J. D., Boyd, J. D., Bonds, A. B., & Casagrande, V. A. (2001). A comparison of koniocellular, magnocellular and parvocellular receptive field properties in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). The Journal of Physiology, 531, 203–218.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar