Independent anatomical and functional measures of the V1/V2 boundary in human visual cortex

Holly Bridge, Stuart Clare, Mark Jenkinson, Peter Jezzard, Andrew J. Parker, Paul M. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The cerebral cortex has both anatomical and functional specialization, but the level of correspondence between the two in the human brain has remained largely elusive. Recent successes in high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging of myeloarchitecture patterns in the cortex suggest that it may now be possible to compare directly human anatomy and function in vivo. We independently investigated the anatomical and functional borders between primary and secondary human visual areas (V1 and V2) in vivo. Functional borders were mapped with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using a narrow, vertical black and white contrast-reversing wedge. In three separate scanning sessions, anatomical images were collected at three different slice orientations (300 μm × 300 μm, slice thickness, 1.5 mm). The anatomical signature of V1 was determined by the presence of a hypointense band in the middle of the cortical gray matter. The band was identified in between 81% and 33% (mean 57%) of V1 defined using fMRI, and less than 5% of the identified band was in cortex outside V1 intensity profiles taken through the gray matter on the V1 and V2 sides of the functional border indicate a measurable difference in the size of the hypointense band for all subjects. This is the first demonstration that the definition of V1 by fMRI closely matches the anatomically defined striate cortex in the human brain. The development of very high-resolution structural MRI may permit the definition of cortical areas based on myeloarchitecture when functional definition is not possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 11 Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • High-resolution MRI
  • Myeloarchitecture
  • Primary visual cortex
  • Stria of Gennari

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this