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The retinal ganglion cell distribution and the representation of the visual field in area 17 of the owl monkey, Aotus trivirgatus

  • L. C. L. Silveira (a1), V. H. Perry (a2) and E. S. Yamada (a1)


The distribution of ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells was determined in whole-mounted Aotus retinae. In contrast to diurnal simians, Aotus has only a rudimentary fovea. Ganglion cell density decreases towards the periphery at approximately the same rate along all meridians, but is 1.2–1.8 times higher in the nasal periphery when compared to temporal region at the same eccentricities. The total number of ganglion cells varied from 421,500 to 508,700. Ganglion cell density peaked at 15,000/mm2 at 0.25 mm dorsal to the fovea. The displaced amacrine cells have a shallow density gradient, their peak density in the central region is about 1500–2000/mm2 and their total number varied from 315,900 to 482,800. Comparison between ganglion cell density and areal cortical magnification factor for the primary visual cortex, area 17, shows that there is not a simple proportional representation of the ganglion cell distribution. There is an overrepresentation of the central 10 deg of the visual field in the visual cortex. The present results for Aotus and the results of a similar analysis of data from other primates indicate that the overrepresentation of the central visual field is a general feature of the visual system of primates.



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The retinal ganglion cell distribution and the representation of the visual field in area 17 of the owl monkey, Aotus trivirgatus

  • L. C. L. Silveira (a1), V. H. Perry (a2) and E. S. Yamada (a1)


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