A number of lines of evidence suggest that, in the macaque monkey, inferior parietal and inferotemporal cortices process different types of visual information. It has been suggested that visual information reaching these two subdivisions follows separate pathways from the striate cortex through the prestriate cortex. We examined directly this possibility by placing injections of the retrograde fluorescent tracers, fast blue and diamidino yellow, in inferior parietal and inferotemporal cortex and examining the spatial pattern of cortical areas containing labeled cells in two-dimensional reconstructions of the cortex.
The results of injections in inferotemporal cortex show that TEO receives afferents from areas V2, ventral V3, V3A, central V4, V4t, and DPL in prestriate cortex and from areas IPa, PGa, and FST in the superior temporal sulcus (STS). Area TEp receives afferents only from V4 in prestriate cortex and from IPa, PGa, and FST in the anterior STS. Area TEa receives no prestriate input and is innervated by IPa, PGa, FST, and TPO in the anterior STS.
The results of injections in inferior parietal cortex demonstrate that POa receives afferents from dorsal V3, V3A, peripheral V4, DPL, and PO in prestriate cortex, from MST and *VIP and from IPa, PGa, TPO, and FST in anterior STS. Area PGc (corresponding to 7a) is innervated by PO, MST, and by TPO in the anterior STS.
Examination of the two-dimensional reconstructions of the pattern of labeling after combined injections of fast blue and diamidino yellow in areas POa and TEO revealed that these areas are principally innervated by different prestriate areas. Only a small region, centered on area V3A and extending into V4 and DPL, contained cells labeled by either injection as well as a small number of double-labeled cells. In contrast, areas POa and TEO receive afferents from extensive common regions in the anterior STS corresponding to areas IPa, PGa, and FST.
These results directly demonstrate that visual information from the striate cortex reaches inferior parietal and inferotemporal cortices through largely separate prestriate cortical pathways. On the other hand, both parietal and inferotemporal cortices receive common inputs from extensive regions in the anterior STS which may play a role in linking the processing occurring in these two cortical subdivisions of the visual system.