Visual area MT in the Cebus monkey: Location, visuotopic organization, and variability

Mario Fiorani, Ricardo Gattass, Marcello G.P. Rosa, Aglai P.B. Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The representation of the visual field in the dorsal portion of the superior temporal sulcus (ST) was studied by multiunit recordings in eight Cebus apella, anesthetized with N2O and immobilized with pancuronium bromide, in repeated recording sessions. On the basis of visuotopic organization, myeloarchitecture, and receptive field size, area MT was distinguished from its neighboring areas. MT is an oval area of about 70 mm2 located mainly in the posterior bank of the superior temporal sulcus. It contains a visuotopically organized representation of at least the binocular visual field. The representation of the vertical meridian forms the dorsolateral, lateral, and ventrolateral borders of MT and that of the horizontal meridian runs across the posterior bank of ST. The fovea is represented at the lateralmost portion of MT, while the retinal periphery is represented medially. The representation of the central visual field is magnified relative to that of the periphery in MT. The cortical magnification factor in MT decreases with increasing eccentricity following a negative power function. Receptive field size increases with increasing eccentricity. A method to evaluate the scatter of receptive field position in multiunit recordings based on the inverse of the magnification factor is described. In MT, multiunit receptive field scatter increases with increasing eccentricity. As shown by the Heidenhain‐Woelcke method, MT is coextensive with two myeloarchitectonically distinct zones: one heavily myelinated, located in the posterior bank of ST, and another, less myelinated, located at the junction of the posterior bank with the anterior bank of ST. At least three additional visual zones surround MT: DZ, MST, and FST. The areas of the dorsal portion of the superior temporal sulcus in the diurnal New World monkey Cebus are comparable to those described for the diurnal Old World monkey, Macaca. This observation suggests that these areas are ancestral characters of the simian lineage and that the differences observed in the owl monkey may be secondary adaptations to a nocturnal ecological niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-118
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • cortical magnification factor
  • myeloarchitecture
  • prestriate cortex
  • scatter
  • visual topography

Cite this