Organization of the inferotemporal cortex in the macaque monkey: Connections of areas PITv and CITvp

Evelyn McClendon, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Visual cortex of macaque monkeys consists of a large number of cortical areas that span the occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes and occupy more than half of cortical surface. Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the contributions of many occipital areas to visual perceptual processing, much less is known concerning the specific functional contributions of higher areas in the temporal and frontal lobes. Previous behavioral and electrophysiological investigations have demonstrated that the inferotemporal cortex (IT) is essential to the animal's ability to recognize and remember visual objects. While it is generally recognized that IT consists of a number of anatomically and functionally distinct visual-processing areas, there remains considerable controversy concerning the precise number, size, and location of these areas. Therefore, the precise delineation of the cortical subdivisions of inferotemporal cortex is critical for any significant progress in the understanding of the specific contributions of inferotemporal areas to visual processing. In this study, anterograde and/or retrograde neuroanatomical tracers were injected into two visual areas in the ventral posterior and central portions of IT (areas PITv and CITvp) to elucidate the corticocortical connections of these areas with well known areas of occipital cortex and with less well understood regions of inferotemporal cortex. The locations of injection sites and the delineation of the borders of many occipital areas were aided by the pattern of interhemispheric connections, revealed following callosal transection and subsequent labeling with HRP. The resultant patterns of connections were represented on two-dimensional computational (CARET) and manual cortical maps and the laminar characteristics and density of the projection fields were quantified. The laminar and density features of these corticocortical connections demonstrate thirteen anatomically distinct subdivisions or areas distributed within the superior temporal sulcus and across the inferotemporal gyrus. These results serve to refine previous descriptions of inferotemporal areas, validate recently identified areas, and provide a new description of the hierarchical relationships among occipitotemporal cortical areas in macaques.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

McClendon, Evelyn, "Organization of the inferotemporal cortex in the macaque monkey: Connections of areas PITv and CITvp" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3376904.