A quantitative analysis of cytochrome oxidase-rich patches in the primary visual cortex of Cebus monkeys: topographic distribution and effects of late monocular enucleation

M. G.P. Rosa, R. Gattass, J. G.M. Soares

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We have studied the tangential distribution of cytochrome oxidase (cytox)-rich patches in striate cortex of normal and monocularly enucleated Cebus apella monkeys. Patch spatial density and patch cross-sectional area were analysed in cytox-reacted tangential sections of flat-mounted preparations of V1. In the upper cortical layers of V1, and specially in the middle of layer III, the Cebus has well-delimited cytox-rich patches. Rows of patches are less conspicuous in Cebus than in Old World monkeys. The spatial density of patches is nearly constant throughout the binocular field representation in V1, with a mean value of 4 patches per mm2. In the monocular portions of V1, however, patch spatial density diminishes. In most cases, mean patch cross-sectional area decreases slightly towards the representation of the periphery in V1. However, patches in the representation of the monocular crescent tend to be larger than those in the adjacent binocular representation. The small variation of cytox patch topography with eccentricity contrasts with the large variation of cortical point-image size in V1. In monocularly enucleated monkeys, patches are larger and darker above and below the ocular dominance stripes of the remaining eye than in the alternate stripes. After long-term enucleation, the patches corresponding to the remaining eye columns appeared larger than in normal controls. In contrast, there is no difference in size between the patches located in the deprived and undeprived monocular crescent representations, although both patch and interpatch regions are darker staining in the latter. These results suggest the existence of competitive interactions which modify the cortical intrinsic organization even in adult monkeys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Modular organization
  • Monkey
  • Ocular dominance
  • Plasticity
  • Platyrrhini
  • Striate cortex

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