Visual receptive field organization and cortico-cortical connections of the lateral intraparietal area (area LIP) in the macaque

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Sep 22;299(4):421-45. doi: 10.1002/cne.902990404.


The visual receptive field physiology and anatomical connections of the lateral intraparietal area (area LIP), a visuomotor area in the lateral bank of the inferior parietal lobule, were investigated in the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Afferent input and physiological properties of area 5 neurons in the medial bank of the intraparietal sulcus (i.e., area PEa) were also determined. Area LIP is composed of two myeloarchitectonic zones: a ventral zone (LIPv), which is densely myelinated, and a lightly myelinated dorsal zone (LIPd) adjacent to visual area 7a. Previous single-unit recording studies in our laboratory have characterized visuomotor properties of area LIP neurons, including many neurons with powerful saccade-related activity. In the first part of the present study, single-unit recordings were used to map visual receptive fields from neurons in the two myeloarchitectonic zones of LIP. Receptive field size and eccentricity were compared to those in adjacent area 7a. The second part of the study investigated the cortico-cortical connections of area LIP neurons using tritiated amino acid injections and fluorescent retrograde tracers placed directly into different rostrocaudal and dorsoventral parts of area LIP. The approach to area LIP was through somatosensory area 5, which eliminated the possibility of diffusion of tracers into area 7a. Unlike many area 7a receptive fields, which are large and bilateral, area LIP receptive fields were much smaller and exclusively confined to the contralateral visual field. In area LIP, an orderly progression in visual receptive fields was evident as the recording electrode moved tangentially to the cortical surface and through the depths of area LIP. The overall visual receptive field organization, however, yielded only a rough topography with some duplications in receptive field representation within a given rostrocaudal or dorsoventral part of LIP. The central visual field representation was generally located more dorsally and the peripheral visual field more ventrally within the sulcus. The lower visual field was represented more anteriorly and the upper visual field more posteriorly. In LIP, receptive field size increased with eccentricity but with much variability with in the sample. Area LIPv was found to have reciprocal cortico-cortical connections with many extrastriate visual areas, including the parieto-occipital visual area PO; areas V3, V3A, and V4: the middle temporal area (MT); the middle superior temporal area (MST); dorsal prelunate area (DP); and area TEO (the occipital division of the intratemporal cortex). Area LIPv is also connected to area TF in the lateral posterior parahippocampal gyrus.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Parietal Lobe / cytology*
  • Visual Fields*