Projections to the superior temporal sulcus from the central and peripheral field representations of V1 and V2

J Comp Neurol. 1986 Jun 8;248(2):147-63. doi: 10.1002/cne.902480202.


In a series of three studies, we have begun to explore the sequence of visual information processing along the pathway from striate cortex (V1), through MT, into the parietal lobe. In this first study, we sought to establish the relationships among MT, the heavily myelinated zone of the superior temporal sulcus (STS), and the V1 and V2 projection fields in the STS. Autoradiographic material from seven hemispheres of six macaques injected with tritiated amino acids into either V1 or V2 was analyzed in detail, and the results were plotted onto two-dimensional reconstructions of the STS. Autoradiographic material from eight additional macaques with V2 injections was also examined. The results indicate that the central visual field representations of both V1 and V2 project into the heavily myelinated zone in the lower bank and floor of the STS, confirming prior studies, whereas the far peripheral representations of both V1 and V2 project into the cortex medial to this zone on the upper bank of the sulcus. There is no evidence that this medial cortex is a separate area that receives projections from V1 and V2 in parallel with the projections these areas send to the heavily myelinated zone. Rather, there seems to be a single projection field of V1 and V2 whose central representation lies within the heavily myelinated zone and whose most peripheral representation lies medial to it. Because of the difference in myelination between the central and peripheral field representations as well as visuotopic anomalies between them, we retain the term "MT" for the heavily myelinated zone and apply the term "MTp" to the far peripheral projection zone. Both MT and MTp are required to process the complete outputs of V1 and V2 within the STS and thus should probably be regarded as two distinctive parts of a single visual area. The difference in myelination between MT and MTp suggests that there is a difference in visual processing between the central and peripheral visual fields. The average size of MT is estimated to be 62 mm2, and the average size of MT and MTp combined to be 76 mm2, which is consistent with estimates derived from several other studies.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / analysis
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields*
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology*


  • Amino Acids