Interaction of motion and color in the visual pathways

Karl R. Gegenfurtner, Michael J. Hawken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In recent years the idea of parallel and independent processing streams for different visual attributes has become a guiding principle for linking the organization, architecture and function of the visual system. Findings concerning the segregation of motion and color information have been at the forefront of the evidence in favor of the parallel processing scheme. A number of studies have shown that motion perception is impaired for isoluminant stimuli, which are thought to isolate the color system. However, there are now many studies, the results of which are incompatible with the simple idea of segregated pathways. We propose two processing streams for motion that differ mostly in their temporal characteristics. Although neither of the two motion streams is color-blind, as was originally suggested, they differ radically in the way they process color information. The view that we propose provides a framework that reconciles a number of seemingly contradictory results. Evidence to support the new framework comes from psychophysical, physiological and lesion studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-401
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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