Development of blobs in the visual cortex of macaques.
We have examined the area of the primary visual cortex and the number and size of blobs within it in 10 neonatal and 11 adult rhesus monkeys. The average area of the primary visual cortex (V1) increases from 919 mm2 in newborns to 1,069 mm2 in adult animals (16%). The number of blobs decreases per unit area from an average of 5.2/mm2 at birth to 4.3/mm2 in maturity (18%). As a consequence, the number of blobs remains approximately the same during maturation, at about 4,800/hemisphere. These observations correct a preliminary report on a subset of the animals studied here (Purves and LaMantia: Proc Natl Acad Sci 87:5765, '90), in which it appeared that blob number might increase between birth and maturity. As in other regions of the developing postnatal brain, we found no net loss of modular circuitry.
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