The retrocalcarine sulcus maps different retinotopic representations in macaques and humans

December 18, 2021

Brain Struct Funct. 2022 May;227(4):1227-1245. doi: 10.1007/s00429-021-02427-0. Epub 2021 Dec 17.


Primate cerebral cortex is highly convoluted with much of the cortical surface buried in sulcal folds. The origins of cortical folding and its functional relevance have been a major focus of systems and cognitive neuroscience, especially when considering stereotyped patterns of cortical folding that are shared across individuals within a primate species and across multiple species. However, foundational questions regarding organizing principles shared across species remain unanswered. Taking a cross-species comparative approach with a careful consideration of historical observations, we investigate cortical folding relative to primary visual cortex (area V1). We identify two macroanatomical structures-the retrocalcarine and external calcarine sulci-in 24 humans and 6 macaque monkeys. We show that within species, these sulci are identifiable in all individuals, fall on a similar part of the V1 retinotopic map, and thus, serve as anatomical landmarks predictive of functional organization. Yet, across species, the underlying eccentricity representations corresponding to these macroanatomical structures differ strikingly across humans and macaques. Thus, the correspondence between retinotopic representation and cortical folding for an evolutionarily old structure like V1 is species-specific and suggests potential differences in developmental and experiential constraints across primates.

PMID:34921348 | PMC:PMC9046316 | DOI:10.1007/s00429-021-02427-0