Resolving the organization of the New World monkey third visual complex: the dorsal extrastriate cortex of the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

J Comp Neurol. 2005 Mar 7;483(2):164-91. doi: 10.1002/cne.20412.


We tested current hypotheses on the functional organization of the third visual complex, a particularly controversial region of the primate extrastriate cortex. In anatomical experiments, injections of retrograde tracers were placed in the dorsal cortex immediately rostral to the second visual area (V2) of New World monkeys (Callithrix jacchus), revealing the topography of interconnections between the "third tier" cortex and the primary visual area (V1). The data indicate the presence of a dorsomedial area (DM), which represents the entire upper and lower quadrants of the visual field, and which receives strong, topographically organized projections from the superficial layers of V1. The visuotopic organization and boundaries of DM were confirmed by electrophysiological recordings in the same animals and by architectural characteristics which were distinct from those found in ventral extrastriate cortex rostral to V2. There was no electrophysiological or histological evidence for a transitional area between V2 and DM. In particular, the central representation of the upper quadrant in DM was directly adjacent to the representation of the horizontal meridian that marks the rostral border of V2. The present results argue in favor of the hypothesis that the third visual complex in New World monkeys contains different areas in its dorsal and ventral components: area DM, near the dorsal midline, and a homolog of area 19 of other mammals, located more lateral and ventrally. The characteristics of DM suggest that it may correspond to visual area 6 (V6) of Old World monkeys.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Callithrix / anatomy & histology*
  • Callithrix / physiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology


  • Fluorescent Dyes