Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Ming Ronnier Luo

Color Processing, Cortical

  • Daniel C. KiperEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-8071-7_87



The transformation of color signals and chromatic properties of receptive fields within the visual cortex of primates.

Processing of Chromatic Signals in the Early Visual Pathways

The processing of chromatic signals in the retina and lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) has been the focus of numerous studies and is well understood. Less is known about the fate of color signals in the cortex. This entry first reviews central aspects of color processing in the primary visual cortex (V1) and discusses how it differs from subcortical processes. It then discusses the processing of color signals in extrastriate visual areas.

Color in the Striate Cortex (V1)

Chromatic Properties of Individual Neurons

In the primate primary visual cortex, it had been estimated that about 50 % of the cell population is selective for color [1]. Estimates of the proportion of color-selective cells, however, are complicated by the use of different criteria for the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Zeki, S.: The distribution of wavelength and orientation selective cells in different areas of the monkey visual cortex. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 217, 449–470 (1983)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Engel, S., Zhang, X., Wandell, B.: Colour tuning in human visual cortex measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Nature 388(6637), 68–71 (1997)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lennie, P., Krauskopf, J., Sclar, G.: Chromatic mechanisms in striate cortex of macaque. J. Neurosci. 10(2), 649–669 (1990)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cottaris, N.P., De Valois, R.L.: Temporal dynamics of chromatic tuning in macaque primary visual cortex. Nature 395(6705), 896–900 (1998)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Derrington, A.M., Krauskopf, J., Lennie, P.: Chromatic properties of neurons in macaque LGN. J. Physiol. 357, 241–265 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Johnson, E.N., Hawken, M.J., Shapley, R.: The spatial transformation of color in the primary visual cortex of the macaque monkey. Nat. Neurosci. 4, 409–416 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schluppeck, D., Engel, S.A.: Color opponent neurons in V1: a review and model reconciling results from imaging and single-unit recording. J. Vis. 2(6), 480–492 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gegenfurtner, K.R., Kiper, D.C.: Color vision. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 26, 181–206 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shapley, R.M., Hawken, M.J.: Color in the cortex: single- and double-opponent cells. Vision Res. 51, 701–717 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Conway, B.R., Chatterjee, S., Field, G.D., Horwitz, G.D., Johnson, E.N., Koida, K., Mancuso, K.: Advances in color science: from retina to behavior. J. Neurosci. 30(45), 14955–14963 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Leventhal, A.G., Thompson, K.G., Liu, D., Zhou, Y., Ault, S.J.: Concomitant sensitivity to orientation, direction, and color of cells in layers 2, 3, and 4 of monkey striate cortex. J. Neurosci. 15(3), 1808–1818 (1995)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Henry, S.H., Reid, R.C.: The koniocellular pathway in primate vision. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 23, 127–153 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gegenfurtner, K.R., Kiper, D.C., Beusmans, J.M., Carandini, M., Zaidi, Q., Movshon, J.A.: Chromatic properties of neurons in macaque MT. Vis. Neurosci. 11(3), 455–466 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bushnell, B.N., Harding, P.J., Kosai, Y., Bair, W., Pasupathy, A.: Equiluminance cells in visual cortical area v4. J. Neurosci. 31(35), 12398–12412 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Conway, B.R., Tsao, D.Y.: Color architecture in alert macaque cortex revealed by FMRI. Cereb. Cortex 16(11), 1604–1613 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of NeuroinformaticsUniversity of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichZurichSwitzerland