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Organization of corticocortical connections in human visual cortex.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Physics


Clinical and psychophysical observations indicate that the visual cortex is critical for the perception of color, form, depth, and movement. Little, however, is known about the cortical circuitry that underlies these functions in humans. In an attempt to learn more about these connections, we have traced projections of primary (V1) and secondary (V2) visual cortex in the postmortem, fixed human brain, using the fluorescent dye 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate as an axonal marker. The results show that V1 makes a forward projection to layers 3 and 4 of V2, and V2 projects back to layers 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of V1. Some V2 injections also show an input to layer 4B of V1. Projections to 4B probably originate from cytochrome oxidase (CO)-reactive stripes that we have identified in V2. Differential connections between CO-rich (blobs) and CO-poor regions (interblobs) also exist within V1; blobs are connected to blobs and interblobs are connected to interblobs. The results show that the connections in human visual cortex are similar to those of nonhuman primates and that their organization is consistent with the concept of multiple processing streams in the visual system.

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