Carlo De Lillo

PS3019- Cognitive and Clinical Neuropsychology

VISUAL PATHWAYS: "What", "Where" and "How" systems in the brain.


This section of the module aims at highlighting the relationship between spatial, non-spatial and action related visual processing. The topics covered include sub-cortical visual pathways, cortical visual pathways, visual agnosias, optic ataxia and in depth discussion of Milner and Goodale’s neuropsychological approach to the study of visual functions.


The successful completion of this part of the course will enable students to:

  • understand the neuropsychological bases of visual cognition
  • understand the neuropsychological bases of spatial cognition
  • appreciate the relationship between perception and action as emphasised by different theoretical approaches and recent experimental findings
  • understand current issues related to the functions of cortical and sub-cortical visual pathways


Essential reading

1) Banich, M.T. (2004) Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology. Boston, Houghton Mifflin. Second edition.

2) Milner, A.D. & Goodale, M.A. (1995). The visual Brain in Action, Oxford, Oxford University Press. The second edition (2006) of this book is also suitable.

3) Norman, J. (2002). Two visual systems and two theories of perception: an attempt to reconcile constructivist and ecological approaches. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Available at:

4) Goodale, MA & Milner A.D (2004). Sight Unseen Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Additional reading

5) Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B. & Mangun, G.R. (2002). Cognitive Neuroscience. New York, Norton, 2nd Edition.

6) Kolb, B & Whishaw, I.Q. Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology (2003), New York, Worth, 5th Edition.

7) Bruce, V., Green, P.R., & Georgeson, M.A. (1996). Visual Perception: Physiology, Psychology and Ecology, Hove, Psychology Press.

8) Gordon, I.E. (1997). Theories of Visual Perception, New York, Wiley. 2nd Edition.

9) Goodale, M.A. and Milner, A. (1992) Separate visual pathways for perception and action. Trends in Neurosciences, 15:20-25.

10) Ellis, R. Tucker, M. (2000). Micro-affordance: the potentiation of components of action by seen objects. British Journal of Psychology, 91:451-471.

Lecture 1 & 2

Lecture 3 & 4

Lecture 5 & 6


Lecture 7 & 8