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July 1990

Arrangement of Ocular Dominance Columns in Human Visual Cortex

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Sight, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC (Drs Horton and Dagi), and the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Ms McCrane and Dr de Monasterio).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(7):1025-1031. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070090127054

• The arrangement of the ocular dominance columns in the human primary visual cortex was studied by examining cytochrome oxidase activity in autopsy specimens of occipital lobes obtained from two patients who became blind in one eye before death. By artifically flattening the cortex before processing, it was possible to reconstruct the pattern formed by the ocular dominace columns throughout most of the primary visual cortex. The columns form a mosaic of irregular parallel stripes about 500 μm to 1000 μm wide (right eye column plus left eye column measures 1 to 2 mm), oriented at right angles to the boundary of the primary visual cortex. The columns are wider near the boundary of the primary visual cortex and within the representation of the central visual field. In the representation of the peripheral visual field, the ocular dominance columns of the ipsilateral eye become fragmented until they disappear altogether at the border of the monocular crescent representation. The arrangement of ocular dominance columns in the human visual cortex is very similar to the pattern reported in the macaque monkey, although the columns in humans are wider.

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