Spiny stellate neurons of area 17 of the cat's visual cortex were physiologically characterised and injected intracellularly with horseradish peroxidase. Six neurons from sublamina 4A were selected. Five had the S-type of simple receptive fields; one had a complex receptive field. Their axons formed boutons mainly in layers 3 and 4. An electron microscopic examination of 45 boutons showed that each bouton formed one asymmetric synapse on average. Spines were the most frequent synaptic target (74%); dendritic shafts formed the remainder (26%). On the basis of ultrastructural characteristics, 8% of the target dendrites were characterised as originating from smooth gamma-aminobutyrate-ergic (GABAergic) neurons. Thus the major output of spiny stellate neurons is to other spiny neurons, probably pyramidal neurons in layer 3 and spiny stellates in layer 4.