The organization of peristriate cortex was studied in nine flying foxes (genus Pteropus). Based on receptive field mapping and architectonic data, we reported on the organization of the second visual area (V2). V2 forms a continuous belt 2–4 mm wide bordering V1 anteriorty. In each hemisphere, V2 contains a precisely organized representation of the entire contralateral visual field. The vertical meridian of the visual field (VM), and a short strip of the ipsilateral hemifield are represented at the posterior border of V2, with V1. The area centralis is represented approximately at the center of the posterior border of V2. At each mediolateral level, progressively more peripheral portions of the visual field are represented as V2 is crossed from posterior to anterior. The representation of the upper quadrant is continuous, and confined to the lateral half of V2. In contrast, the representation of the lower quadrant is split along a line running from the temporal edge of the field of vision to the optic disk. As a result of this arrangement, the portions of the lower quadrant close to the VM are represented medially, and those away from the VM laterally in V2. The entire representation of the horizontal meridian is located in lateral V2, and is not split between medial and lateral V2 as in primates. The linear cortical magnification factor (CMF) decays by a factor of 3–5 from the central to the peripheral repre-sentation. The CMF is anisotropic, and equal distances in the visual field are magnified twice as much parallel to the V1/V2 border than perpendicular to this border. Moreover, points in the lower quadrant are magnified relative to symmetrical points in the upper quadrant. V2 is histologically distinct from all surrounding areas in both cytochrome oxidase- and Nissl-stained sections. These results suggest that V2 is an homologous area common to all archontans, and imply that much of the variability reported among mammals may be due to technical factors, rather than true species differences.

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