Visual areas in the dorsal and medial extrastriate cortices of the marmoset

J Comp Neurol. 1995 Aug 21;359(2):272-99. doi: 10.1002/cne.903590207.


To define the number and limits of the visual areas in the primate extrastriate cortex, the visuotopy of the dorsal convexity and medial wall was studied by electrophysiological recordings in five marmosets anaesthetised with sufentanil and nitrous oxide and paralysed with pancuronium bromide. We identified five visuotopic representations in and around the densely myelinated zone between visual area 2 (V2) and the posterior parietal cortex. Most of the densely myelinated zone is formed by the homologue of the owl monkey's dorsomedial area (DM); thus, we also termed this area DM in the marmoset. Within DM, the lower quadrant representation is continuous, with central vision represented laterally, peripheral vision medially, the horizontal meridian caudally, and the vertical meridian rostrally. In contrast, the upper quadrant representation is split, with the central portion represented at the lateral edge of DM on the dorsal surface, and the periphery along the midline. Two other visual field representations, corresponding to the dorsointermediate area (DI) and to a new subdivision termed the dorsoanterior area (DA), are also densely myelinated but can be distinguished from DM based on the separation of the bands of Baillarger and visual topography. In addition, a homologue of the medial visual area (M) was identified. Our results reveal a highly complex visuotopy in primate cortex, with local discontinuities in representation and borders between areas that are often not coincident with either the horizontal or the vertical meridian. The topography of the dorsal extrastriate cortex in the marmoset strongly suggests that both visual area 3 (V3) and the parietooccipital area (PO) of other primates are portions of a single visuotopic representation, DM, and calls into question the existence of visual areas with partial or quadrantic representations of the visual field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Callithrix / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*