Cortical blindness and visual imagery

Anjan Chatterjee, M. Helen Southwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Controversy exists concerning the neural basis underlying visual imagery.Some propose that visual images evoked from memory are mediated by primary visual cortices. Others argue that these primary visual areas perform computations on elementary visual features when constructing visual representations from retinal input but that they are not activated during recall of these representations. The visual imagery abilities of patients with cortical blindness may resolve this controversy. The proposition that primary visual cortex is necessary for visual imagery predicts that a cortically blind subject's inability to perceive visual stimuli would be accompanied by an inability to image visually. Our investigations of three patients with cortical blindness provide strong evidence that primary visual cortices are not essential for the mediation of visual images recalled from memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2189-2195
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


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