The origin of efferent pathways from the primary visual cortex, area 17, of the macaque monkey as shown by retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase

J Comp Neurol. 1975 Dec 1;164(3):287-303. doi: 10.1002/cne.901640303.


The retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase has been used to identify efferent cells in area 17 of the macaque. Cells projecting to the lateral geniculate nucleus are small to medium sized pyramidal neurons with somata in lamina 6 and the adjacent white matter. The projection to the parvocellular division arises preferentially from the upper half of lamina 6, while that to the magnocellular division arises preferentially from the lower part of the lamina. The projection to both superior colliculus and inferior pulvinar arises from all sizes of pyramidal neurons lying in lamina 58 (Lund and Boothe, '75); at least pyramidal neurons of lamina 5B send collateral axon branches to both destinations. Injections with extensive spread of horseradish peroxidase show that many cells of lamina 4B and the large pyramidal neurons of upper lamina 6 also project extrinsically but their terminal sites have not been identified. Other studies have indicated that cells of laminae 2 and 3 project to areas 18 and 19. Therefore every lamina of the visual cortex, with the exception of those receiving a direct thalamic input, contains cells projecting extrinsically. Further, each lamina projects to a different destination and from Golgi studies can be shown to contain cells with specific patterns of dendritic branching which relate to the distribution of thalamic afferents and to the patterns of intracortical connections. These findings emphasise the significance of the horizontal organisation of the cortex with relation to the flow of information through it and contrast with the current concept of columnar organisation shown in physiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Corpus Callosum / anatomy & histology
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Haplorhini
  • Macaca / anatomy & histology*
  • Macaca fascicularis / anatomy & histology
  • Macaca mulatta / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons, Efferent
  • Peroxidases
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology


  • Peroxidases