The neuroanatomical organization of pathways between the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex in Old World and New World primates

J Comp Neurol. 1978 Nov 1;182(1):123-36. doi: 10.1002/cne.901820108.


Pathways between the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and visual cortex in Old World (Macaca, Papio, Erythrocebus, Cercopithecus) and New World (Saimiri, Cebus) primates were studied after injections of horseradish peroxidase and H3 or S35 amino acids into the dLGN or visual cortex. Trans-synaptic autoradiography was also used to study these pathways after an injection of H3 proline-fucose into one eye. The subsequent autoradiographs of visual cortex showed that Old World primates have separate eye inputs (ocular dominance columns) in the striate cortex, whereas New World monkeys have overlapping or non-separated eye inputs. In both primate groups the geniculocortical input to layer IVA formed a pattern which resembled a honeycomb in tangential sections, unlike the solidly labeled layer IVC. Also common to the two primate groups was a projection from dLGN to layer VI. There was no dLGN projection to any prestriate area in any of the primates. However, after an injection limited to the prestriate cortex of Macaca, light autoradiographic labeling was seen in the interlaminar zones and the magnocellular and S laminae, demonstrating a prestriate-dLGN pathway. Our results indicate that the primate visual system differs significantly from the cat in having no dLGN projection to area 18. There are also signficant differences between primates in the level at which the possibility of binocularity (of an excitatory nature) first occurs in the striate cortex because in the species studied thus far with neuroanatomical methods, Old World primates have ocular dominance columns in layer IV but most New World monkeys lack them.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cercopithecus
  • Erythrocebus patas
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Macaca
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Papio
  • Saimiri
  • Species Specificity
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology