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Dorsal or Ventral Visual Pathway

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Like most mammals, people are visual creatures that rely heavily on not only what we are looking at, but where to look (García-Molina, 2012). These processes are interactive.

The processing along the two distinct pathways in the brain are designed to extract fundamentally different types of information, for example the “what” and the “where”. According to the textbook, “the ventral “what” pathway terminates in the inferior temporal cortex, and the dorsal “where” pathway terminates in the posterior parietal cortex” (García-Molina, 2012, pg. 226). The ventral stream or in other words, vision for perception pathway, is believed to mainly be for object perception and recognition to determine what we are looking at. Whereas dorsal stream, or vision for action, has been primarily associated with spatial perception, visually guiding and determining where and object is (García-Molina, 2012). However, the ventral stream is not solely responsible for object recognition; controversy, its function is not strictly limited to object vision. Additionally, the dorsal stream is not responsible by itself for spatial vision; conversely, its function extends beyond vision. Lastly, the difference between the two visual pathways is what is perceived and recognized.

Whether my friend has a damaged dorsal or ventral visual pathway, this could possibly lead to dissociable behavioral deficits. However, for more in depth, if my friend had damages to her ventral stream this disorder can lead to spatial awareness and visual attention defects and would typically cause her to be unable to perceive an object whether that be size, shape, and or orientation of an object.