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

W. Fries , H. Distel

Abstract

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.