Cortical projections to the two retinotopic maps of primate pulvinar are distinct.
- PMID: 30078198 [PubMed].
Comprised of at least five distinct nuclei, the pulvinar complex of primates includes two large visually driven nuclei; one in the dorsal (lateral) pulvinar and one in the ventral (inferior) pulvinar, that contain similar retinotopic representations of the contralateral visual hemifield. Both nuclei also appear to have similar connections with areas of visual cortex. Here we determined the cortical connections of these two nuclei in galagos, members of the stepsirrhine primate radiation, to see if the nuclei differed in ways that could support differences in function. Injections of different retrograde tracers in each nucleus produced similar patterns of labeled neurons, predominately in layer 6 of V1, V2, V3, MT, regions of temporal cortex, and other visual areas. More complete labeling of neurons with a modified rabies virus identified these neurons as pyramidal cells with apical dendrites extending into superficial cortical layers. Importantly, the distributions of cortical neurons projecting to each of the two nuclei were highly overlapping, but formed separate populations. Sparse populations of double labeled neurons were found in both V1 and V2 but were very low in number (<0.1%). Finally, the labeled cortical neurons were predominately in layer 6 and layer 5 neurons were labeled only in extrastriate areas. Terminations of pulvinar projections to area 17 was largely in superficial cortical layers, especially layer 1. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.