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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2002 Dec;35(12):1485-98.

Visual maps in the adult primate cerebral cortex: some implications for brain development and evolution.

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Department of Physiology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.


In this paper, the topology of cortical visuotopic maps in adult primates is reviewed, with emphasis on recent studies. The observed visuotopic organisation can be summarised with reference to two basic rules. First, adjacent radial columns in the cortex represent partially overlapping regions of the visual field, irrespective of whether these columns are part of the same or different cortical areas. This primary rule is seldom, if ever, violated. Second, adjacent regions of the visual field tend to be represented in adjacent radial columns of a same area. This rule is not as rigid as the first, as many cortical areas form discontinuous, second-order representations of the visual field. A developmental model based on these physiological observations, and on comparative studies of cortical organisation, is then proposed, in order to explain how a combination of molecular specification steps and activity-driven processes can generate the variety of visuotopic organisations observed in adult cortex.

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