Functional organization of color domains in V1 and V2 of macaque monkey revealed by optical imaging

Cereb Cortex. 2008 Mar;18(3):516-33. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhm081. Epub 2007 Jun 18.


Areas V1 and V2 of Macaque monkey visual cortex are characterized by unique cytochrome-oxidase (CO)-staining patterns. Initial electrophysiological studies associated CO blobs in V1 with processing of surface properties such as color and brightness and the interblobs with contour information processing. However, many subsequent studies showed controversial results, some supporting this proposal and others failing to find significant functional differences between blobs and interblobs. In this study, we have used optical imaging to map color-selective responses in V1 and V2. In V1, we find striking "blob-like" patterns of color response. Fine alignment of optical maps and CO-stained tissue revealed that color domains in V1 strongly associate with CO blobs. We also find color domains in V1 align along centers of ocular dominance columns. Furthermore, color blobs in V1 have low orientation selectivity and do not overlap with centers of orientation domains. In V2, color domains coincide with thin stripes; orientation-selective domains coincide with thick and pale stripes. We conclude that color and orientation-selective responses are preferentially located in distinct CO compartments in V1 and V2. We propose that the term "blob" encompasses both the concept of "CO blob" and "color domain" in V1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Macaca
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*