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Extended Concepts of Occipital Retinotopy

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Retinotopic mapping is a key property of organization of occipital cortex, predominantly on the medial surface but increasingly being identified in lateral and ventral regions. The retinotopic organization of early visual areas V1-3 is well established, although anatomical landmarks can help to resolve ambiguities in poorly-defined functional maps. New morphing techniques are now available to define the metric mappings quantitatively within each retinotopic area. In the dorsal occipital regions, there is fair agreement that area V3A should be split into separate V3A and V3B maps, and that beyond them lies a further area, V7. We specify the eccentricity mapping of both V3B and V7 for the first time, showing how the latter is roughly parallel to the meridional mapping and offering formal accounts of such paradoxical behavior. In ventral occipital cortex, we support the analysis of Zeki and Bartels [1] and Wade et al. [2] that V4 maps the full hemifield, and show the existence of two more areas, a ventromedial map of the lower quadrant, emphasizing the upper vertical meridian, and an adjacent area with a dominant foveal representation. In lateral cortex, the motion area defined by a motion localizer shows pronounced retinotopy, particularly in the eccentricity parameter. A dorsolateral map between the motion area and V3B, which represents the lower quadrant with an emphasis the foveal part of the lower vertical meridian, may be a counterpart to the ventromedial map.

Keywords: FOVEAL CONFLUENCE; human motion area; occipital-pole flatmaps; retinotopic maps; tranverse sulcus; ventromedial occipital

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Smith-Kettlewell Brain Imaging Center, Eye Research Institute, 2318 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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