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Vision Res. 2006 Oct;46(20):3336-59. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Multi-area visuotopic map complexes in macaque striate and extra-striate cortex.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, MA 02215, USA.


We propose that a simple, closed-form mathematical expression-the Wedge-Dipole mapping-provides a concise approximation to the full-field, two-dimensional topographic structure of macaque V1, V2, and V3. A single map function, which we term a map complex, acts as a simultaneous descriptor of all three areas. Quantitative estimation of the Wedge-Dipole parameters is provided via 2DG data of central-field V1 topography and a publicly available data set of full-field macaque V1 and V2 topography. Good quantitative agreement is obtained between the data and the model presented here. The increasing importance of fMRI-based brain imaging motivates the development of more sophisticated two-dimensional models of cortical visuotopy, in contrast to the one-dimensional approximations that have been in common use. One reason is that topography has traditionally supplied an important aspect of "ground truth," or validation, for brain imaging, suggesting that further development of high-resolution fMRI will be facilitated by this data analysis. In addition, several important insights into the nature of cortical topography follow from this work. The presence of anisotropy in cortical magnification factor is shown to follow mathematically from the shared boundary conditions at the V1-V2 and V2-V3 borders, and therefore may not causally follow from the existence of columnar systems in these areas, as is widely assumed. An application of the Wedge-Dipole model to localizing aspects of visual processing to specific cortical areas-extending previous work in correlating V1 cortical magnification factor to retinal anatomy or visual psychophysics data-is briefly discussed.

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