The functional anatomy of the McCollough contingent colour after-effect

J. Barnes, R. Howard, Carl Senior, M.J. Brammer, E.T. Bullmore, A. Simmons, A.S. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments which reveal a cortical network activated when perceiving coloured grids, and experiencing the McCollough effect (ME). Our results show that perception of red-black and green-black grids activate the right fusiform gyrus (area V4) plus the left and right lingual gyri, right striate cortex (V1) and left insula. The ME activated the left anterior fusiform gyrus as well as the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and in common with colour perception, the left insula. These data confirm the critical role of the fusiform gyrus in actual and illusory colour perception as well as revealing localized frontal cortical activation associated with the ME, which would suggest that a 'top-down' mechanism is implicated in this illusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 1999


  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • cortical network
  • coloured grids
  • McCollough effect
  • right fusiform gyrus
  • lingual gyri
  • right striate cortex
  • left insula
  • left anterior fusiform gyrus
  • ventrolateral prefrontal cortex
  • colour perception
  • illusory colour perception
  • frontal cortical activation


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