Retinotopy of cortical connections between the striate cortex and extrastriate visual areas in the rat

Exp Brain Res. 1993;94(1):1-15. doi: 10.1007/BF00230466.


Previous studies have determined that the striate cortex of the rat is reciprocally connected with multiple extrastriate cortical areas that are retinotopically organized. The objective of this study was to investigate the retinotopy of the striate-extrastriate connections in the rat, by placing triple or double injections of fluorescent tracers (fluorogold, fast blue, rhodamine dextran, or rhodamine-labeled microspheres) in different regions of the striate cortex (Oc1) and mapping the distribution of cells and fibers labeled with the different tracers in the lateral (Oc2L) and medial (Oc2M) extrastriate cortex. The tracer injection sites were visualized in tangential sections of the flattened cortex and correlated with the myelin layout of the striate cortex and with an electrophysiological map from previous studies. The results showed retinotopically organized Oc1 connections with ten different extrastriate cortical areas. The location of these extrastriate areas and the retinotopy of their striate connections remained mostly invariant despite changes of the injection sites in Oc1. Thus, the quadrantic retinotopy was obtained for striate connections to areas posterior, posterolateral, lateromedial, laterointermediate, laterolateral, anterolateral and rostrolateral in Oc2L; and to areas posteromedial, anteromedial, and anterior in Oc2M. The present anatomical map correlates well with electrophysiological maps of the rat extrastriate cortex from previous studies. Furthermore, they provide a definition of the retinotopy of some areas that have not been completely mapped before. These results reaffirm the existence of multiple extrastriate visual areas in the rat.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Rats
  • Retina / anatomy & histology*
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology


  • Fluorescent Dyes