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J Comp Neurol. 2002 Sep 2;450(4):366-81.

Striate cortex in dichromatic and trichromatic marmosets: neurochemical compartmentalization and geniculate input.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


The superficial layers of primate striate cortex (V1) contain a regular pattern of dense staining for cytochrome oxidase (CO) reactivity ("blobs") that receive direct input from the koniocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus. It has been suggested that the blob regions are dedicated to processing color information. Here, the neurochemical compartmentalization of blobs and their input from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) was measured in marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) identified as having either dichromatic or trichromatic color vision. In all animals, layer III of V1 showed a patchy distribution of CO. The spatial density of CO blobs (mean, 4.6 blobs/mm(2); range, 3.9-5.5), blob diameter, and the proportion of cortical area within blobs was not significantly different in dichromats and trichromats. The LGN input was studied by injecting retrograde tracer into V1. The koniocellular layers of the LGN contribute 11% of all relay cells, and form the only geniculate input to upper layer III of V1. Only half of all relay cells in the KC layers express calbindin. There is no obvious difference between dichromats and trichromats in the pattern of the geniculate projection to V1. It is concluded that the trichromatic phenotype is not associated with changes in the gross anatomy, neurochemistry, or organization of the geniculate afferents to the superficial layers of V1.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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