Abstract

Layer IVA of rhesus monkey striate cortex contains pyramidal cells arranged in distinct groups. Their cell bodies are in a configuration of flat cones, each with an average diameter of 60 μm, and their apical dendrites aggregate into bundles that ascend toward the pial surface. Nissl-stained sections suggest that these pyramidal cell cones have their bases in layer IVB, with their tops extending into layer IVA. The neurons in the cones are readity apparent in MAP2 antibody-stained material, and in cytochrome oxidase-reacted tissue it is evident that the pyramidal cell cones occupy the pale spaces that are surrounded by the darkly reactive honeycomb lattice. This lattice of neuropil around the cones contains some axons and boutons that are immunoreactive for parvalbumin, and it is within the lattice that other investigators have shown afferents from the parvocellular (P)-layers of the dLGN to terminate. Because of this input, it is likely that the pyramidal cell cones of layer IVA are involved with color and form perception. The relationship between the layer IVA cones of neurons and the undertying system of previously described py ramidal cell modules (Peters and Sethares, 1991) is discussed, as well as the possibility that the pyramidal cell cones might represent aggregations of neurons, which receive input from basic sets of P-like afferents originating from color-responsive ganglion cells of the retina, as described by Schein and de Monasterio (1981).

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