Topographical organization of cortical afferents to extrastriate visual area PO in the macaque: a dual tracer study

J Comp Neurol. 1988 Mar 15;269(3):392-413. doi: 10.1002/cne.902690307.


We have examined the origin and topography of cortical projections to area PO, an extrastriate visual area located in the parieto-occipital sulcus of the macaque. Distinguishable retrograde fluorescent tracers were injected into area PO at separate retinotopic loci identified by single-neuron recording. The results indicate that area PO receives retinotopically organized inputs from visual areas V1, V2, V3, V4, and MT. In each of these areas the projection to PO arises from the representation of the periphery of the visual field. This finding is consistent with neurophysiological data indicating that the representation of the periphery is emphasized in PO. Additional projections arise from area MST, the frontal eye fields, and several divisions of parietal cortex, including four zones within the intraparietal sulcus and a region on the medial dorsal surface of the hemisphere (MDP). On the basis of the laminar distribution of labeled cells we conclude that area PO receives an ascending input from V1, V2, and V3 and receives descending or lateral inputs from all other areas. Thus, area PO is at approximately the same level in the hierarchy of visual areas as areas V4 and MT. Area PO is connected both directly and indirectly, via MT and MST, to parietal cortex. Within parietal cortex, area PO is linked to particular regions of the intraparietal sulcus including VIP and LIP and two newly recognized zones termed here MIP and PIP. The wealth of connections with parietal cortex suggests that area PO provides a relatively direct route over which information concerning the visual field periphery can be transmitted from striate and prestriate cortex to parietal cortex. In contrast, area PO has few links with areas projecting to inferior temporal cortex. The pattern of connections revealed in this study is consistent with the view that area PO is primarily involved in visuospatial functioning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Bisbenzimidazole
  • Brain Mapping
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Macaca / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca fascicularis / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Parietal Lobe / cytology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*


  • Benzimidazoles
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • nuclear yellow
  • Bisbenzimidazole