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J Comp Neurol. 1998 Apr 20;393(4):505-27.

Visuotopic organisation and neuronal response selectivity for direction of motion in visual areas of the caudal temporal lobe of the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus): middle temporal area, middle temporal crescent, and surrounding cortex.

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Vision, Touch, & Hearing Research Centre, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, The University of Queensland, Australia.


On the basis of extracellular recordings in marmoset monkeys, we report on the organisation of the middle temporal area (MT) and the surrounding middle temporal crescent (MTc). Area MT is approximately 5-mm long and 2-mm wide, whereas the MTc forms a crescent-shaped band of cortex 1-mm wide. Neurones in area MT form a first-order representation of the contralateral hemifield, whereas those in the MTc form a second-order representation with a field discontinuity near the horizontal meridian. The representation of the vertical meridian forms the border between area MT and the MTc. In both areas, the fovea is represented ventrocaudally, and the visual field periphery is represented dorsorostrally. Analysis of single units revealed that 86% of cells in area MT show a strong selectivity for the direction of motion of visual stimuli. The proportion of direction-selective cells in the MTc (53%), whereas lower than that in area MT, is much higher than that observed in most other visual areas. Neurones in the cortex immediately rostral to area MT and the MTc are direction selective, with receptive fields predominantly located in the visual field periphery. In contrast, only a minority of the cells in the cortex ventral to the MTc are direction selective, and their receptive fields emphasise central vision. The results suggest that the MTc is functionally closely related to area MT, and distinct from the areas forming the dorsolateral complex. The MTc may have a role in combining information about motion in the visual field, processed by area MT, with information about stimulus shape, processed by the dorsolateral complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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