Lesions to ventral occipital cortex can produce severe deficits in color vision, a syndrome known as cerebral achromatopsia. Because most studies examine relatively few cases, however, uncertainty remains about precisely which cortical loci, when damaged, produce the syndrome. In addition, the extents of the associated perceptual deficits remain unclear. To address these issues, we performed a meta-analysis of 92 case reports from the literature. The severity of color vision deficits of the cases varied greatly, although nearly all showed some deficit in color discrimination. Almost all cases tested also showed some loss of spatial vision. Lesion overlap analyses revealed a relatively small region of high overlap in ventral occipital cortex. The region of high overlap was located near areas identified by neuroimaging studies as important for color perception. For comparison, we performed a similar analysis of prosopagnosia, a disorder of face perception, and found several regions of high lesion overlap adjacent to the region associated with achromatopsia. Because the behavioral deficits in achromatopsia are often incomplete and never restricted to color vision, the region of high lesion overlap may be one critical stage within a stream of many visual areas that participate nonexclusively in color perception.
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