The koniocellular pathway in primate vision

Stewart H.C. Hendry, R. Clay Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

388 Scopus citations


A neurochemically distinct population of koniocellular (K) neurons makes up a third functional channel in primate lateral geniculate nucleus. As part of a general pattern, K neurons form robust layers through the full representation of the visual hemifield. Similar in physiology and connectivity to W cells in cat lateral geniculate nucleus, K cells form three pairs of layers in macaques. The middle pair relays input from short- wavelength cones to the cytochrome-oxidase blobs of primary visual cortex (V1), the dorsal-most pair relays low-acuity visual information to layer I of V1, and the ventral-most pair appears closely tied to the function of the superior colliculus. Throughout each K layer are neurons that innervate extrastriate cortex and that are likely to sustain some visual behaviors in the absence of V1. These data show that several pathways exist from retina to V1 that are likely to process different aspects of the visual scene along lines that may remain parallel well into V1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-153
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual review of neuroscience
StatePublished - 2000


  • Lateral geniculate nucleus
  • Monkey visual system
  • Parallel pathways
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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