Chromatic priming in hemianopic visual fields.
Cowey A., Stoerig P., Hodinott-Hill I.
In three monkeys made hemianopic by unilateral striate cortical ablation, in one normal monkey and in a human hemianope (GY), we measured reaction times to chromatic targets presented in the normal hemifield as a function of prior chromatic primes in the blind field. The first of our three tasks showed an unspecific priming effect in that the colour of the here unpredictive prime was irrelevant. However, when contingencies were changed in the second task so that the prime was usually valid, its colour did significantly influence reaction times in two of the hemianopic monkeys as well as in the human subject. Even when the primes lost their predictive value again in the third task, this chromatically specific effect persisted. We conclude that chromatic processing in the cortically blind field can be revealed with indirect approaches that measure residual processing by its influence on the reaction to stimuli in the normal field, and that the validity of the prime (whether it predicts the colour of the target) is especially important.