We have previously described a visual area situated in the cortex surrounding the deep infolding of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus of the cat (Mucke et al. 1982). Using orthograde and retrograde transport methods we now report anatomical evidence that this anterior ectosylvian visual area (AEV) is connected with a substantial number of both cortical and subcortical regions. The connections between AEV and other cortical areas are reciprocal and, at least in part, topographically organized: the rostral AEV is connected with the bottom region of the presylvian sulcus, the lower bank of the cruciate sulcus, the rostral part of the ventral bank of the splenial sulcus, the rostral portion of the lateral suprasylvian visual area (LS) and the lateral bank of the posterior rhinal sulcus; the caudal AEV is connected with the bottom region of the presylvian sulcus, the caudal part of LS, the ventral part of area 20 and the lateral bank of the posterior rhinal sulcus. Subcortically, AEV has reciprocal connections with the ventral medial thalamic nucleus (VM), with the medial part of the lateralis posterior nucleus (LPm), as well as with the lateralis medialis-suprageniculate nuclear (LM-Sg) complex. These connections are also topographically organized with more rostral parts of AEV being related to more ventral portions of the LPm and LM-Sg complex. AEV also projects to the caudate nucleus, the putamen, the lateral amygdaloid nucleus, the superior colliculus, and the pontine nuclei. It is concluded that AEV is a visual association area which functionally relates the visual with both the motor and the limbic system and that it might play a role in the animal's orienting and alerting behavior.
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