A multiplicity of color-responsive cortical mechanisms revealed by the dynamics of cVEPs

Valerie Nunez, James Gordon, Robert M. Shapley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our results connect higher-order color mechanisms deduced from psychophysics with the known diversity of populations of double-opponent, color-responsive cells in V1. We used the chromatic visual evoked potential, the cVEP, to study responses in human visual cortex to equiluminant color patterns. Stimuli were modulated along three directions in color space: the cardinal directions, L-M and S, and along the line in color space from the white point to the color of the Red LED in the display screen (the Red direction). The Red direction is roughly intermediate between L-M and S in DKL space in cone-contrast coordinates. While cVEP response amplitude, latency, and width–and their dependences on cone contrast– were similar in the L-M and Red directions, the Transientness of the Red response was significantly greater than for responses to stimuli in the L-M direction and in the S direction. This difference in response dynamics supports the concept that there are multiple, distinct neuronal populations, so-called higher- order color mechanisms, for color perception within human V1 cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-245
Number of pages12
JournalVision research
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Color
  • Cone-contrast
  • Human
  • Transientness
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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