Thalamic and cortical projections to middle suprasylvian cortex of cats: constancy and variation
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We investigated the constancy and variability in the numbers of thalamic and cortical neurons projecting to cat middle suprasylvian (MS) visual cortex. Retrograde pathway tracers were injected at a single anatomically and physiologically defined locus in MS cortex. Counts of labeled neurons showed that the visual thalamic projections to MS cortex consistently arose from a fixed set of nuclei in relatively constant proportions. In contrast, counts of cortical neurons revealed that transcortical inputs to MS cortex were much more variable. This differential variability may be linked to the developmental program, which affords greater influence of experiential factors on cortical pathway development than on thalamocortical pathway development. These results have implications for the development of models of cerebral connectivity that include measures of pathway variability.
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