Ventral posterior visual area of the macaque: Visual topography and areal boundaries

William T. Newsome, John H.R. Maunsell, David C. van Essen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Using both physiological and anatomical techniques, we have studied the topographic organization of extrastriate visual cortex on the ventral surface of the occipital lobe in macaque monkeys. Our results show that a topographically organized representation of the superior contralateral quadrant of the visual field lies immediately anterior to the ventral half of V2. This area is organized in a mirror symmetric fashion to ventral V2: it shares a horizontal meridian representation with V2 and a representation of the superior vertical meridian forms its anterior border. A well‐defined strip of callosal inputs runs along the vertical meridian representation, thereby providing a reliable anatomical marker for areal boundaries in ventral extrastriate cortex. We refer to this area as the ventral posterior area (VP) because it is, in all these respects, notably similar to VP in the owl monkey. Ventral V2 has strong reciprocal connections with VP, and the topography of the V2 projection agrees closely with the topography revealed in our physiological mapping experiments. The visual field representation in VP is strikingly anisotropic, with linear magnification factor being much larger along contours of constant polar angle than along contours of constant eccentricity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 8 1986


  • extrastriate cortex
  • primate visual system
  • visual cortex


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