Latencies to small flashing spots of light were measured in different layers of areas V1 and V2 in anesthetized and paralyzed macaque monkeys. The shortest latencies were found in layers 4C alpha and 4B of area V1. Latencies in layer 4C beta were on average 20 ms longer than those in 4C alpha and 4B. The shortest latencies in area V2 were observed in the infragranular layers and they did not differ significantly from those found in the infragranular layers in V1. Similarly, latencies in the supragranular layers of V2 were not significantly different from those measured in the supragranular layers of V1. These results show that, in area V1, neurons of the magnocellular pathway are activated on average 20 ms earlier than those of the parvocellular pathway. Our data also suggest that much processing begins simultaneously in areas V1 and V2.