Immunocytochemical methods were used to examine neuropeptide Y (NPY) immunoreactive neurons and fibers in area 17 of rhesus monkeys during the first year of life. NPY-immunoreactive (+) neurons are nonpyramidal cells which are either multipolar, bipolar, or bitufted in shape. They occur most frequently in layer 6 and the subjacent white matter, are sparser in the supragranular layers, and absent from layer 4C. Labeled somata in the supragranular layers are smaller compared to those in layer 6 and the white matter. A typical axon originates from the NPY+ soma or from a primary dendrite and frequently is varicose. Distribution and morphologies of NPY+ neurons in area 17 of infants are similar to those of adult monkeys. Thus, it seems that NPY+ neurons in rhesus monkeys are mature from birth. NPY+ fibers occur in area 17 from birth; however, they differ in density and distribution from those of older infant and adult monkeys. At birth, a prominent fiber plexus is found in the deepest part of layer 1, and another in the white matter. Immunoreactive processes are sparse in the remaining cortical gray, except for some vertical fibers extending from pia to white matter. By 4 months of age, labeled fibers form a coarse network in layers 2, 3, 5, and 6. In addition, a distinct plexus extends through layers 4B, 4A, and the lowest aspect of layer 3. Also, a thin immunoreactive fiber band is found at the bottom of layer 4C. In the remainder of layer 4C, NPY+ fibers are scant. The supragranular layers also exhibit a unique immunoreactive “snarl” of fibers. Increases in density of NPY+ processes in the older infants are gradual so that between 7 and 13 months of age, NPY+ fibers appear to have achieved adultlike densities. These observations indicate that NPY+ fibers in area 17 of newborn rhesus monkeys undergo postnatal maturation which reaches a plateau around 4 months of age. After monocular visual deprivation from birth to 4 months of age, either by eyelid suture or by occlusion with an opaque contact lens, density and distribution of NPY+ neurons and fibers, including snarls, appear similar to those of age-matched undeprived infants. Thus, disruption of the normal binocular input does not seem to arrest the maturation of the NPY system in area 17 of rhesus monkeys during a sensitive period of early postnatal development.