Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1975 Jun 15;161(4):569-94.

The representation of the visual field in the lateral geniculate nucleus of Macaca mulatta.


Microelectrode recording techniques were used to investigate the projection of the visual field into the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of Macaca mulatta. The data were used to construct charts plotting visual direction, designated in terms of azimuth and elevation, onto sections of the nucleus cut in coronal, sagittal and horizontal Horsley-Clarke planes. The projection of the horizontal meridian divides the LGN along its plane of symmetry into a medial-superior half having negative elevations and a lateral-inferior half having positive elevations. Elevations become more positive or negative with distance from this plane. Azimuths closest to the vertical meridian are located posteriorly, while the most peripheral azimuths are found at the anterior pole. Two families of surfaces representing visual directions of constant azimuth and elevation are described. Visual field zones of increasing eccentricity are represented serially along the posterior-anterior axis of the LGN, with the foveal area restricted to the posterior pole and the monocular crescent projecting to the anterior pole. The mapping is completely continuous across the horizontal meridian. The edges of the stacked cell laminae exposed around the periphery of the LGN form an oval band which receives the projection of the perimeter of the contralateral hemifield. The vertical meridian is represented by the posterior two-thirds of this band, while the periphery of the hemifield projects to the anterior third. The central visual field out to the optic disc is represented by six cell layers, while the rest of the binocular field projects to four layers only (2 parvocellular and 2 magnocellular). The monocular crescent is represented by one parvocellular and one magnocellular layer. Features associated with the projection column of the optic disc are integrated into the transition from six to four layers. Details of the receptive field topography in the vicinity of the optic disc discontinuities indicate that these gaps are produced by intralaminar mechanisms. The magnification factor (mm-3/steradian) increased monotonically from peripheral visual fields to the foveal center, varying over a range of three decades. This range is intermediate between those derived from data reported in the literature for the retina and the striate cortex. The ratio of LGN magnifications at any two angular eccentricities is a power function, with an exponent of 1.34, of the corresponding ratio of retinal ganglion cell densities. Similarly, the ratio of cortical magnifications (mm-2/steradian) at any two eccentricites is a power function, with an exponent of 1.35, of the corresponding ratio of LGN magnifications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center