Topography of orientation centre connections in the primary visual cortex of the cat

Neuroreport. 2001 Jun 13;12(8):1693-9. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200106130-00035.


The functional topography of lateral connections to orientation-centre zones was studied by optical imaging of intrinsic signals in combination with tracer injections (fluorescent beads and biocytin) and electrophysiological recordings. Three-dimensional reconstruction of anterogradely labelled axon terminals and retrogradely labelled somata revealed a uniform distribution across all orientations in a non-patchy manner. The overall lateral extent of the labelling was 3-4 mm in layer 3, that is about half of the extent observed for orientation domain connections in the same layer. These bulk injection data are in contrast with the reportedly sharp orientation tuning of neurons of centre zones and suggest that orientation specificity here does not require highly specific connections. Nonetheless, another plausible scenario is that orientation centre connections are orientation specific but their specificity present at the single cell level cannot be revealed by bulk labelling due to their large spatial overlap.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cats
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescence
  • Latex
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Microspheres
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*


  • Latex
  • biocytin
  • Lysine