Occipital lobes

Functions

Processes visual information, allowing visual perception and recognition. Functional areas

Primary idiotypic visual receptive cortex: area 17: striate cortex; in the walls of the calcarine fissure: has the stria of Gennari - thin myelinated tract in the 4th or granular layer. The region receives the visual pathway from the lateral geniculate body of the thalamus. Visual association cortex: areas 18 and 19. Parastriate cortex: area 18. Peristriate cortex: area 19.

Occipital lobe lesions may be associated with visual seizures and visual agnosia.

Bilateral occipital lobe involvement causes cortical blindness, with lack of awareness of the defect by the patient in the presence of normal pupillary responses. There may also be loss of colour perception, prosopagnosia (inability to identify a familiar face) and simultagnosia (inability to integrate and interpret m a composite scene as opposed to its individual elements).

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