Occipital White Matter Tracts in Human and Macaque

Hiromasa Takemura, Franco Pestilli, Kevin S. Weiner, Georgios A. Keliris, Sofia M. Landi, Julia Sliwa, Frank Q. Ye, Michael A. Barnett, David A. Leopold, Winrich A. Freiwald, Nikos K. Logothetis, Brian A. Wandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compare several major white-matter tracts in human and macaque occipital lobe using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. The comparison suggests similarities but also significant differences in the tracts. There are several apparently homologous tracts in the 2 species, including the vertical occipital fasciculus (VOF), optic radiation, forceps major, and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). There is one large human tract, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, with no corresponding fasciculus in macaque. We could identify the macaque VOF (mVOF), which has been little studied. Its position is consistent with classical invasive anatomical studies by Wernicke. VOF homology is supported by similarity of the endpoints in V3A and ventral V4 across species. The mVOF fibers intertwine with the dorsal segment of the ILF, but the human VOF appears to be lateral to the ILF. These similarities and differences between the occipital lobe tracts will be useful in establishing which circuitry in the macaque can serve as an accurate model for human visual cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3346-3359
Number of pages14
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number6
Early online date23 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • comparative study
  • diffusion MRI
  • vertical occipital fasciculus
  • visual cortex
  • white matter


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