The complete pattern of ocular dominance stripes in the striate cortex and visual field of the macaque monkey

S. LeVay, M. Connolly, J. Houde, D. C. Van Essen

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Ocular dominance stripes in the striate cortex of a macaque monkey were labeled by autoradiography after injection of [3H]proline into one eye. The stripes were reconstructed on a representation of the flattened cortical surface by two independent techniques: one used computer graphics, and the other was the manual unfolding procedures of Van Essen and Maunsell. The two reconstructions differed in many details of the pattern but were in agreement on its general features. As described in earlier studies, the stripes formed a system of parallel bands, with numerous branches and islands. They were roughly orthogonal to the V1/V2 border throughout the binocular segment of the cortex. In the lateral part of the operculum, where the fovea is represented, the stripes were less orderly than elsewhere. In the calcarine fissure the stripes ran directly across the striate cortex from its dorsal to its ventral margin. In the far periphery the stripes for the ipsilateral eye became progressively narrower, eventually fragmenting into small islands at the edge of the monocular segment. The overall periodicity (width of a left- plus right-eye pair of stripes) averaged 0.88 mm but decreased by a factor of about 2 from center to periphery. This decrease was not accounted for solely by shrinkage of the ipsilateral eye stripes. The flattened cortical reconstruction was transformed back into visual field coordinates, using information about visual field topography obtained from the detailed mapping study of Van Essen et al., as well as from more limited mapping done in the same monkey that was used for the reconstruction. In the transformed map, the stripes increased in width about 40-fold from the fovea to the far periphery. As deduced previously, there were portions of the map in which the stripes followed curves approximating isoeccentricity lines, but this relationship was not very exact or consistent. The pattern of stripes appears to be more meaningfully related to the geometry of the cortical surface. This has significant implications for understanding the developmental mechanisms involved in stripe formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-501
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985


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