Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Visual Cortex

  • Warren L. FeltonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_377


Brodmann’s area 17; Calcarine cortex; Occipital cortex; Striate cortex


The visual cortex is located in the occipital lobe of the brain and is composed of the primary visual cortex (striate cortex, Brodmann’s area 17) and the visual association areas (nonstriate visual cortex, Brodmann’s areas 18 and 19) (Milner 2006).

Current Knowledge

The visual cortex processes visual information including form, color, motion, and depth (Grill-Spector and Malach 2004). Cortical visual impairment may result from cerebrovascular disease, trauma, tumor, infection, degenerative disease, toxin, medication, migraine, psychosis, and other causes. The characteristic defect is loss of visual field. Unilateral impairment of the visual cortex causes loss of the opposite hemifield in each eye, usually sparing the central 10° of visual field, and is termed a macular sparing homonymous hemianopia. A defect at the pole of the occipital cortex that impacts central visual field is referred to as...

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References and Readings

  1. Edmond, J. C., & Foroozan, R. (2006). Cortical visual impairment in children. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology, 17, 509–512.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Girkin, C. A., & Miller, N. R. (2001). Central disorders of vision in humans. Survey of Ophthalmology, 45, 379–405.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Grill-Spector, K., & Malach, R. (2004). The human visual cortex. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 649–677.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Milner, A. D. (2006). The visual brain in action (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmondUSA