Royal Society Publishing

Large Layer VI Neurons of Monkey Striate Cortex (Meynert Cells) Project to the Superior Colliculus

W. Fries, H. Distel


After injections of the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP) into the superior colliculus of macaque monkeys, labelled cells in the neocortex were found to be restricted to layer V in all areas except striate visual cortex. In striate visual cortex, cortico-tectal cells were found both in layer V and in layer VI. The labelled cells in the two layers belonged to morphologically different populations: those of layer V were the common pyramidal cells and those of layer VI were identified as solitary cells of Meynert. This finding may provide new insights into the physiology of the cortico-collicular pathways. It also shows that the striate area in primates differs, with respect to cortico-tectal laminar specificity, from other neocortex.