Diversity and cell type specificity of local excitatory connections to neurons in layer 3B of monkey primary visual cortex

Neuron. 2000 Feb;25(2):459-71. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80908-3.


In the primary visual cortex of macaque monkeys, laminar and columnar axonal specificity are correlated with functional differences between locations. We describe evidence that embedded within this anatomical framework is finer specificity of functional connections. Photostimulation-based mapping of functional input to 31 layer 3B neurons revealed that input sources to individual cells were highly diverse. Although some input differences were correlated with neuronal anatomy, no 2 neurons received excitatory input from the same cortical layers. Thus, input diversity reveals far more cell types than does anatomical diversity. This implies relatively little functional redundancy; despite trends related to laminar or columnar position, pools of neurons contributing uniquely to visual processing are likely relatively small. These results also imply that similarities in the anatomy of circuits in different cortical areas or species may not indicate similar functional connectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / analysis
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Macaca radiata
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / enzymology
  • Visual Cortex / cytology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / cytology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology


  • Electron Transport Complex IV