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J Neurosci. 1988 May;8(5):1594-609.

Functional anatomy of macaque striate cortex. IV. Contrast and magno-parvo streams.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


Macaque monkeys were shown achromatic gratings of various contrasts during 14C-2-deoxy-d-glucose (DG) infusion in order to measure the contrast sensitivity of different subdivisions of primary visual cortex. DG uptake is essentially saturated at stimulus contrasts of 50% and above, although the saturation contrast varies with layer and with different criteria. Following visual stimulation with gratings of 8% contrast, stimulus-driven uptake was relatively high in striate layer 4Ca (which receives primary input from the magnocellular LGN layers), but was absent in layer 4Cb (which receives primary input from the parvocellular layers). In this same (magnocellular-specific) stimulation condition, striate layers 4B, 4Ca, and 6 showed strong stimulus-induced DG uptake, and layers 2, 3, 4A, and 5 showed only light or negligible uptake. By comparison to other cases that were shown stimuli of systematically higher contrast, and to a wide variety of DG cases shown very different stimuli, it is evident that information derived from the magnocellular and parvocellular layers in the LGN remains partially, or largely, segregated in its passage through striate cortex, and projects in a still somewhat segregated fashion to different extrastriate areas. The sum of all available evidence suggests that the magnocellular information projects strongly through striate layers 4Ca, 4B, and 6, with moderate input into the blobs in layers 2 + 3, and to blob-aligned portions of layer 4A. Parvocellular-dominated regions of striate cortex include both the blob and interblob portions of layers 2 + 3, 4A, 4Cb, and 5. Because the major striate input to V2 arrives from striate layers 2 + 3, and because the major striate input to MT originates in layer 4B and 6, it appears that area V2 receives information derived largely from the parvocellular LGN layers, and that area MT receives information derived mainly from the magnocellular layers.

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