Color blobs in cortical areas V1 and V2 of the New World monkey Callithrix jacchus, revealed by non-differential optical imaging

Nikos Logothetis, Matthias F. Valverde Salzmann, Andreas Bartels, Nikos K. Logothetis, Almut Schüz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Color vision is reserved to only few mammals, such as Old World monkeys and humans. Most Old World monkeys are trichromats. Among them, macaques were shown to exhibit functional domains of color-selectivity, in areas V1 and V2 of the visual cortex. Such color domains have not yet been shown in New World monkeys. In marmosets a sex-linked dichotomy results in dichromatic and trichromatic genotypes, rendering most male marmosets color-blind. Here we used trichromatic female marmosets to examine the intrinsic signal response in V1 and V2 to chromatic and achromatic stimuli, using optical imaging. To activate the subsystems individually, we used spatially homogeneous isoluminant color opponent (red/green, blue/yellow) and hue versus achromatic flicker (red/gray, green/gray, blue/gray, yellow/gray), as well as achromatic luminance flicker. In contrast to previous optical imaging studies in marmosets, we find clearly segregated color domains, similar to those seen in macaques. Red/green and red/gray flicker were found to be the appropriate stimulus for revealing color domains in single-condition maps. Blue/gray and blue/yellow flicker stimuli resulted in faint patch-patterns. A recently described multimodal vessel mapping approach allowed for an accurate alignment of the functional and anatomical datasets. Color domains were tightly colocalized with cytochrome oxidase blobs in V1 and with thin stripes in V2. Thus, our findings are in accord with 2-Deoxy-D-glucose studies performed in V1 of macaques and studies on color representation in V2. Our results suggest a similar organization of early cortical color processing in trichromats of both Old World and New World monkeys. © 2012 the authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7881-7894
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Neuroscience
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2012


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