Maps of central visual space in ferret V1 and V2 lack matching inputs from the two eyes.
In the visual cortex, the representation of central visual space is supplied by matching geniculate inputs that are driven exclusively by one eye or the other. In layer 4 of early visual areas (V1 in primates and V1 and V2 in cat), these inputs form a nearly uniform array of small ocular dominance domains, while preserving overall topographic order within the cortical map. In ferret, however, ocular dominance domains in different regions of the visual cortex are strikingly irregular in size and shape. The exceptionally large size of domains in some regions implies a departure from the usual visuotopic matching of inputs from the two eyes. Using optical-imaging, electrophysiological, and anatomical techniques, we show that this regional variation is attributable to exclusively monocular maps of the central portions of the ipsilateral visual field in V1 and the contralateral visual field in V2. In addition, we document a complex interdigitation of V1 and V2 that entails a discontinuity in the mapping of visual space and fragmentation of V2 into isolated cortical territories. We suggest that both the monocularity of these cortical maps and the visuotopic discontinuity along the V1-V2 border derive from asymmetries in the crossed and uncrossed retinal pathways.
White, LE; Bosking, WH; Williams, SM; Fitzpatrick, D
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