The long-term goal of this research is to contribute to the understanding of the physiological mechanisms of visual perception and visually guided behavior in order to facilitate the treatment, amelioration and prevention of disorders of vision caused by trauma, disease and developmental abnormalities. In addition to striate cortex, a vast expanse of the cerebral cortex of primates is involved in visual perception and visually guided behavior. This cortex includes prestriate cortex, inferior temporal cortex (IT) and the superior temporal polysensory area (STP). Ongoing research on the functions of prestriate cortex, IT cortex and STP cortex will be continued using physiological, anatomical and behavioral methods. One major aim is to determine the role of the prestriate area MT in the perception of movement and the neural circuitry underlying this role. A second major aim is to analyze the role of the superior temporal polysensory area in orientation, localization, and eye movements, to determine the source of its visual input and to ascertain the role it plays in the visual functions that survive damage to the geniculostriate system, i.e. in """"""""blind sight"""""""". A third major aim is to analyze further the role of the inferior temporal cortex in shape and face recognition in order to understand the perceptual deficits that follow its removal.
These aims are directly relevant to such health related problems as the development of visual protheses, the treatment of perceptual deficits after cortical damage, and the optimal utilization of sensory capacities after brain damage that results in impaired vision or blindness.