Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 June 2009
Cortical projections to the middle temporal (MT) visual area were studied by injecting the retrogradely transported fluorescent tracer Fast Blue into MT in adult New World monkeys (Cebus apella). Injection sites were selected based on electrophysiological recordings, and covered eccentricities from 2–70 deg, in both the upper and lower visual fields. The position and laminar distribution of labeled cell bodies were correlated with myeloarchitectonic boundaries and displayed in flat reconstructions of the neocortex. Topographically organized projections were found to arise mainly from the primary, second, third, and fourth visual areas (V1, V2, V3, and V4). Coarsely topographic patterns were observed in transitional V4 (V4t), in the parieto-occipital and parieto-occipital medial areas (PO and POm), and in the temporal ventral posterior area (TVP). In addition, widespread or nontopographic label was found in visual areas of the superior temporal sulcus (medial superior temporal, MST, and fundus of superior temporal, FST), annectent gyrus (dorsointermediate area, DI; and dorsomedial area, DM), intraparietal sulcus (lateral intraparietal, LIP; posterior intraparietal, PIP; and ventral intraparietal, VIP), and in the frontal eye field (FEF). Label in PO, POm, and PIP was found only after injections in the representation of the peripheral visual field (>10 deg), and label in V4 and FST was more extensive after injections in the central representation. The projections from V1 and V2 originated predominantly from neurons in supragranular layers, whereas those from V3, V4t, DM, DI, POm, and FEF consisted of intermixed patches with either supragranular or infragranular predominance. All of the other projections were predominantly infragranular. Invasion of area MST by the injection site led to the labeling of further pathways, including substantial projections from the dorsal prelunate area (DP) and from an ensemble of areas located along the medial wall of the hemisphere. In addition, weaker projections were observed from the parieto-occipital dorsal area (POd), area 7a, area prostriata, the posterior bank of the arcuate sulcus, and areas in the anterior part of the lateral sulcus. Despite the different nomenclatures and areal boundaries recognized by different models of simian cortical organization, the pattern of projections to area MT is remarkably similar among primates. Our results provide evidence for the existence of many homologous areas in the extrastriate visual cortex of New and Old World monkeys.