Visual Cortex

I chose to do my research on the visual cortex. The interest I had on this topic, was mainly to find out if this had any effect on the way we see things. I believe this specific topic, the visual cortex, related to Temple Grandin’s chapter “From the Margins to the Mainstream” in The Autistic Brain, because the visual cortex has to do with the way we see things, just like Grandin had a different perspective than others. The main question I had for myself to get a better understanding of the visual cortex was, what role does the visual cortex play? THe visual cortex is something really important, and may be the cause for how we all see differently.

The primary visual cortex has to do with your vision. “Primary visual cortex is the site of a remarkable transformation in the neural representation of the visual world. (N.J. Priebe, D Ferster) This is mostly stating the important basic meaning of the visual cortex. “The primary visual cortex is commonly known as area V1, or area 17 according to Brodmann (Brodmann), or area OC according to von economo (von Economo & Koskinas). These scientist both show their perspective on what the visual cortex is. In other words, the visual cortex to them is an area in your brain to give you the site of your vision. The visual cortex may also be known as the striate cortex due to myelinated axons.

Furthermore, the visual cortex is located in the brain. The part in which it is located is the surface of the occipital lobe that is in the cerebral hemispheres extending into the calcarine sulcus. “The primary visual cortex (Brodmann area 17 or, according to more recent, nomenclature, V1), is also located almost entirely in the medial surface of the occipital lobe; just a small portion perhaps 1 cm long extends around the posterior pole onto the lateral surface (Brodmann). This shows on where the location of the visual cortex is. This location may also be in which we see in certain ways.

To add on, the visual cortex has a main role it plays, which is to give us vision. One of the roles has to do with the way we see things. For example, for us to see thing clearly and sharply, the V1 is organized in stacks of cells that give strong line orientation allowing us to see the edges from our objects. Also, they eye focuses light from the retina, and gets absorbed by a layer of photoreceptor cells. That light then becomes electrochemical signals to rods and cones (How Vision Works). The cones become 3 colors, which are red, blue, and green that makes us perceive color in our sight. “Vision requires distilling foreground from background, recognizing objects presented in a wide range of orientations, and accurately interpreting spatial cues” (How Vision Works). This shows the many roles the visual cortex plays to give us the sight we have now.

Last but not least, the visual cortex may be something really delicate. The V1 may get any disruptions to their role which can cause damage(Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Lamantia AS, McNamara JO, White LE). This damage may occur to complete loss of vision, and lead to blindness. Babies have a start of most delicate vision which site doctors to be very careful with their vision (How Vision Works).

The visual cortex may be the main thing to us in which is to see, but with  my research we can see the many aspects it takes for this vision to happen. Now from my research i know the insightful meaning of what the visual cortex is, and have a better understanding in this. Knowing what I know now, I would furthermore, like to learn if the visual cortex has any role in why headaches may occur.

How Vision Works. Brain HQ, 2017, . Accessed 8 March 2017.

Priebe N.J. Ferster D. Visual Cortex Sciencedirect Topics. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 2009, Accessed 6 March 2017.

Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, Lamantia AS, McNamara JO, White LE. Know Your Brain. Neuroscience, 15 June 2016, Accessed 8 March 2017.

Visual Cortex. Science Daily, 2016, Accessed 8 March 2017.


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