Development of connections within and between areas V1 and V2 of macaque monkeys

Thomas A. Coogan, David C. Van Essen

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We have investigated the development of intrinsic and interareal connections in areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey using postmortem transport of the lipophilic fluorescent tracer diI, applied to brains fixed at different pre- and postnatal ages. Intrinsic connections in the deep layers of V1 are evident on embryonic day 108 (E108), but are not robust in the superficial layers until around E118, when migration is largely complete. Both intrinsic horizontal projections and extrinsic projections to V2 initially have a continuous distribution. Patchy projections are first evident in V1 around E145, the same age at which cytochrome oxidase blobs appear, presumably signaling the differentiation of the blob-dominated and interblob-dominated streams in the primary visual cortex. The magnocellular- dominated stream becomes distinct at earlier stages (by E122), as judged by connectional and histochemical criteria. In area V2, intrinsic connections initially (at E108) involve only deep layer cells and do not have a clustered organization. By E130, superficial layer cells are involved and the V2 intrinsic connections have a patchy distribution; by E145, an adult-like pattern is present. The projection from V2 to V1 passes through an early stage (up to E133) of originating principally from deep layer cells, and thereafter originating from superficial as well as deep layers. We found evidence for changes in dendritic morphology during development. Most notably, at E118, many neurons in layer 6 which are involved in intrinsic or interareal connections have dendrites that extend well into the superficial layers, even into layer 1, a characteristic not reported in the adult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-342
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 26 1996


  • intrinsic connections
  • lamination
  • modularity


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