The human cortical areas V6 and V6A

Sabrina Pitzalis, Patrizia Fattori, Claudio Galletti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In macaque, it has long been known since the late nineties that the medial parieto-occipital sulcus (POS) contains two regions, V6 and V6A, important for visual motion and action. While V6 is a retinotopically organized extrastriate area, V6A is a broadly retinotopically organized visuomotor area constituted by a ventral and dorsal subdivision (V6Av and V6Ad), both containing arm movement-related cells active during spatially directed reaching movements. In humans, these areas have been mapped only in recent years thanks to neuroimaging methods. In a series of brain mapping studies, by using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging methods such as wide-field retinotopy and task-evoked activity, we mapped human areas V6 (Pitzalis et al., 2006) and V6Av (Pitzalis et al., 2013 d) retinotopically and defined human V6Ad functionally as a pointing-selective region situated anteriorly in the close proximity of V6Av (Tosoni et al., 2014). Like in macaque, human V6 is a motion area (e.g., Pitzalis et al., 2010, 2012, 2013 a, b , c ), while V6Av and V6Ad respond to pointing movements (Tosoni et al., 2014). The retinotopic organization (when present), anatomical position, neighbor relations, and functional properties of these three areas closely resemble those reported for macaque V6 (Galletti et al., 1996, 1999 a), V6Av, and V6Ad (Galletti et al., 1999 b; Gamberini et al., 2011). We suggest that information on objects in depth which are translating in space, because of the self-motion, is processed in V6 and conveyed to V6A for evaluating object distance in a dynamic condition such as that created by self-motion, so to orchestrate the eye and arm movements necessary to reach or avoid static and moving objects in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E007
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • fMRI
  • Optic flow
  • Parieto-occipital cortex
  • Pointing
  • Wide-field retinotopic mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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