Organization of primary visual cortex (area 17) in the ferret

J Comp Neurol. 1988 Dec 8;278(2):157-80. doi: 10.1002/cne.902780202.


Anatomical and electrophysiological mapping techniques were used to determine topographic organization and arrangement of ocular dominance columns in the primary visual cortex of ferrets. From its border with area 18 on the posterior lateral gyrus, area 17 extends around the caudal pole of the hemisphere and over the splenial gyrus to the caudal bank of the splenial sulcus. The visuotopic map is oriented with the isoazimuth lines approximately parallel to the long axis of the posterior lateral gyrus and the isoelevation lines approximately perpendicular to the isoazimuths. Central azimuths are represented on the posterior lateral gyrus and peripheral azimuths are represented on the splenial gyrus; the inferior visual field maps medially and the superior visual field maps laterally. As in other species, the representation of the central visual field is expanded. The ferret has a considerable degree of binocular vision. Receptive fields driven through the ipsilateral eye extended more than 20 degrees into the contralateral visual field. Within the region of area 17 corresponding to the binocular portion of the visual field, tritiated proline injected into one eye transneuronally labelled an ipsilateral projection as a series of patchy bands roughly complementary to gaps in the labelled contralateral projection. Physiological ocular dominance columns were evident as well in that neurons and groups of neurons recorded in this region showed clustered ocular dominance preferences. Most single neurons studied were binocularly driven.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • 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
  • Carnivora / anatomy & histology*
  • Cats
  • Electrophysiology
  • Ferrets / anatomy & histology*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Vision, Binocular
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology