Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Parvocellular Neurons

  • Uraina S. ClarkEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1391


The parvocellular pathway is one of three primary visual pathways (magnocellular, parvocellular, and koniocellular pathways) traveling subcortically from the retina to visual cortex via the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Cells in the parvocellular pathway (P pathway) are specialized for detecting color. Information from the P pathway is thought to feed primarily into the ventral visual stream (i.e., to visual association cortex in the temporal lobe). Experimental ablation of the P pathway results in the loss of color vision, as well as impairments in the perception of fine detailed texture and shape analysis.

Current Knowledge

Of the three major visual streams in the primate visual system, the parvocellular and magnocellular (M) pathways have received a great deal of investigation, while less is known about koniocellular (K) pathway, which has only recently been discovered. In general, the M and P pathways are considered to be independent systems, each serving distinct...

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Further Readings

  1. De Valois, R. L., & Cottaris, N. P. (1998). Inputs to directionally selective simple cells in macaque striate cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 95(24), 14488–14493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

For Information About the M and P Pathways see:

  1. 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
  2. Merigan, W. H., & Maunsell, J. H. R. (1993). How parallel are the primate visual pathways? Annual Review of Neuroscience, 16, 369–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Van Essen, D. C., & Maunsell, J. H. R. (1983). Hierarchical organization and functional streams in the visual cortex. Trends in Neurosciences, 6, 270–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

For Information About the K Pathway see:

  1. White, A. J. R., Solomon, S. G., & Martin, P. R. (2001). Spatial properties of koniocellular cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the marmoset Calithrix jacchus. The Journal of Physiology, 533, 519–535.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 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.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA