A hierarchy of the functional organization for color, form and disparity in primate visual area V2

Daniel Y. Ts'O, Anna Wang Roe, Charles D. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


By combining optical imaging, single unit electrophysiology and cytochrome oxidase (CO) histology, we sought to reveal in greater detail the functional organization within the CO stripes of visual area V2 of primates. To visualize the disparity selective regions of V2, the imaging of binocular interaction was employed. These imaging maps guided single unit penetrations that then revealed a columnar organization for disparity. Our studies also showed a pattern of intermixing between the color and disparity pathways of V2, including the existence of single cells tuned for both color and disparity. While previous studies have suggested that the CO stripes of V2 constitute the fundamental organizational unit within V2, our results show a further level of organization consisting of functionally distinct subcompartments, 0.7-1.5 mm in diameter, within individual stripes. These subcompartments, which are not clearly revealed by CO histochemistry, lie within each of the thin, pale, and thick CO dense stripes in V2 and are specific for aspects of color, orientation and retinal disparity, respectively. The present results favor an architectural view of V2, not unlike that of V1, as a collection of functionally distinct subcompartments or modules situated within each of the V2 stripes. These modules also support the notion that for each cortical area (e.g. V1, V2, V4), there exists a stereotyped cortical module with a geometry that is characteristic for each area. These modules exist as a middle tier in a hierarchy of functional organization within V2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1349
Number of pages17
JournalVision Research
Issue number10-11
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Color vision
  • Columnar organization
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Functional architecture
  • Optical imaging
  • Stereopsis
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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