Cortical connections of areas 17 (V-I) and 18 (V-II) of squirrels

J Comp Neurol. 1989 Mar 15;281(3):426-46. doi: 10.1002/cne.902810308.


Connections of visual cortex in squirrels were investigated by placing WGA-HRP injections, and in some cases fluorescent dyes, into area 17 (V-I) or area 18 (V-II). Results were related to architectonic fields determined in brain sections cut parallel to the surface of manually flattened cortex and to limited microelectrode mapping data. Injections in area 17 provided evidence for 1) a patchy pattern of horizontal intrinsic connections extending 1-2 mm from the injection site; 2) uneven, widely distributed connections with area 18 (V-II) and adjoining occipital-temporal (OT) cortex; and 3) callosal connections of large portions of area 17 with the 17/18 border zone. While restricted locations in area 17 had uneven interconnections over several mm of area 18, more rostral locations in area 17 related to more rostral locations in area 18, demonstrating a topographic tendency. Injections in area 18 revealed 1) zones of discontinuous connections with area 17 that followed a topographic pattern, 2) patches of intrinsic connections that spread over distances of up to 6-8 mm from the injection site; 3) two zones of uneven connections with OT cortex suggesting the locations of at least two visual areas, OTr and OTc; 4) connections with limbic cortex rostromedial to areas 17 and 18; 5) sparse connections with regions of temporal cortex lateral to OT; and 6) uneven callosal connections with area 18 and OT cortex. The widespread and unevenly distributed intrinsic callosal interconnection patterns of areas 17 and 18 contrast with the restricted excitatory receptive fields of neurons and the retinotopic patterns of representation in these fields. Although physiological evidence is presently lacking, the patchy connections suggest that areas 17 and 18 in squirrels are modularly organized.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Callosum / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Sciuridae / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*