We studied the impact of visual stimulation upon cerebral metabolism in normal young men using FDG-PET. Results obtained from subjects receiving patterned visual stimulation while performing an ocular fixation task were compared with results from ocular fixation alone. Visual stimulation in the macular region of either hemifield produced significant increases in metabolism of the contralateral posterior striate cortex. Visual stimulation induced highly significant asymmetries in metabolism of the prefrontal and inferior parietal cortices. Metabolic activation in extrastriate areas tended to be right-sided. These findings support the classic notion of retinotopic organization within the primary visual sensory cortex. They also indicate that the patterns of cerebral metabolism are not equivalent between the two cerebral hemispheres. This latter finding suggests that in humans the right cerebral hemisphere may be specialized for visual processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology